FreeKB - Samba (File Server) Connect to a Samba share without a username or password
Samba (File Server) - Connect to a Samba share without a username or password


Use the apt-get or yum command to install Samba and CIFS.

~]# yum install samba
~]# yum install cifs-utils



Allow Samba in iptables or firewalld. Do not forget to restart iptables or reload firewalld.



By default, Samba is not configured to share a network drive. Attempting to connect to the share will produce an error.


Add the following to the global section of your /etc/samba/smb.conf file. The map to guest = bad user option is what allows the share to be mounted as a guest. Technically, the bad user option first checks to see if the username exists on the Samba server. If not, the login is treated as a guest, which allows the share to be mounted without a valid username and password.

security = user
passdb backend = tdbsam
map to guest = bad user


Add the following to the share section of your /etc/samba/smb.conf file. Instead of user admin and group admins, you can use some other unique user and group. The idea here is to have a unique, non-root user.

path = /srv/samba/share
browsable = yes
public = yes
writeable = yes
force user = admin
force group = admins


Without writeable = yes, an error will appear when attemtping to create a new file or modify an existing file.


If a CUPS print server is not being used, add the following to the global section to prevent a massive number of records in the log with this message: failed to retrieve printer list nt_status_unsuccessful.

printing = bsd
printcap name = /dev/null


Notice in the above example, path is /srv/samba/share. If this directory does not exist, create it.

~]# mkdir /srv/samba
~]# mkdir /srv/samba/share


Change the permission to read, write, execute for all users to the share.

~]# chmod 0777 /srv/samba/share


Set the owner and group to nobody.

~]# chown nobody.nobody /srv/samba/share


Add a file to the /srv/samba/share directory.

~]# touch /srv/samba/share/test1.txt


The ps command can be used to determine if your system is using init or systemd. If PID 1 is init, then you will use the service command. If PID 1 is systemd, then you will use the systemctl command.

If your system is using systemd, use the systemctl command to start and enable smb.

systemctl enable smb
systemctl start smb
systemctl status smb


If your system is using init, use the chkconfig and service commands to start and enable smb.

chkconfig smb on
service smb start
service smb status



SELinux may be configured to refuse Samba connections. Use the sestatus command to ensure SELinux is enforcing.

~]# sestatus
. . .
Current mode: enforcing


View the SELinux label on /srv/samba/share. In this example, the output has var_t.

~]# ls -dZ /srv/samba/share
drwxrwxrwx.  root  root  unconfined_u:object_r:var_t:s0  /srv/samba/share


Turn on Samba home directories and export read/write.

~]# setsebool -P samba_enable_home_dirs on
~]# setsebool -P samba_export_all_rw on


Ensure Samba home directories and export read/write are on.

~]# /usr/sbin/getsebool -a | grep samba_enable_home_dirs.
samba_enable_home_dirs --> on

~]# /usr/sbin/getsebool -a | grep samba_export_all_rw.
samba_export_all_rw --> on


Use apt-get or yum to install policycoreutils-python. This package contains semanage.

~]# yum -y install policycoreutils-python


Configure SELinux to remain intact if the system is rebooted.

~]# semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t "/srv/samba/share(./*)?"


Updates SELinux with these changes.

~]# restorecon -R -v /srv/samba/share


View the SELinux label on /srv/samba/share. In this example, the output should now be samba_share_t instead of var_t.

~]# ls -dZ /srv/samba/share
drwxrwxrwx.  root  root  unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0  /srv/samba/share


You can now mount the share (Linux) or map the network drive (Windows).



If using a Linux client, such as Ubuntu, add the noperm option to the mount command. The noperm option disables permissions check. If noperm is not used, permission denied will likely appear when attempting to write or save files to the share.

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November 21st, 2020 by oliver
Finally! I have been browsing the web for 2 days trying to find out how to set up a samba server without a password. None of the countless and often overly complicated supposed solutions I found on other blogs or forum discussions ultimately worked. So, thank you!

November 22nd, 2020 by Jeremy (moderator)
Hey, thanks Oliver. It took a lot of trial and error and banging of head against wall to write this article.

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