How to Mount Windows Share on Linux using CIFS
4 min read
On Linux and UNIX operating systems, a Windows share can be mounted on a particular mount point in the local directory tree using the
cifs option of the
The Common Internet File System (CIFS) is a network file-sharing protocol. CIFS is a form of SMB.
In this tutorial, we will explain how to manually and automatically mount Windows shares on Linux systems.
Installing CIFS Utilities Packages
To mount a Windows share on a Linux system, first you need to install the CIFS utilities package.
Installing CIFS utilities on Ubuntu and Debian:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cifs-utils
Installing CIFS utilities on CentOS and Fedora:
sudo dnf install cifs-utils
The package name may differ between Linux distributions.
Mounting a CIFS Windows Share
Mounting a remote Windows share is similar to mounting regular file systems.
First, create a directory to serve as the mount point for the remote Windows share:
sudo mkdir /mnt/win_share
Run the following command as root or user with sudo privileges to mount the share:
sudo mount -t cifs -o username=<win_share_user> //WIN_SHARE_IP/<share_name> /mnt/win_share
You will be prompted to enter the password:
On success, no output is produced.
To verify that the remote Windows share is successfully mounted, use either the
df -h command.
Once the share is mounted, the mount point becomes the root directory of the mounted file system. You can work with the remote files as if they were local files.
The password can also be provided on the command line:
sudo mount -t cifs -o username=<win_share_user>,password=<win_share_password> //WIN_SHARE_IP/<share_name> /mnt/win_share
If the user is in windows workgroup or domain you can set it as follows:
sudo mount -t cifs -o username=<win_share_user>,domain=<win_domain> //WIN_SHARE_IP/<share_name> /mnt/win_share
For better security it is recommended to use a credentials file, which contains the share username, password and domain.
The credentials file has the following format:
username = user password = password domain = domain
sudo chown root: /etc/win-credentials
sudo chmod 600 /etc/win-credentials
To use the credentials file, define it as follows:
sudo mount -t cifs -o credentials=/etc/win-credentials //WIN_SHARE_IP/<share_name> /mnt/win_share
By default of the mounted share is owned by root, and the permissions are set to 777.
dir_mode option to set the directory permission and
file_mode to set the file permission:
sudo mount -t cifs -o credentials=/etc/win-credentials,dir_mode=0755,file_mode=0755 //WIN_SHARE_IP/<share_name> /mnt/win_share
The default user and group ownership can be changed with the
sudo mount -t cifs -o credentials=/etc/win-credentials,uid=1000,gid=1000,dir_mode=0755,file_mode=0755 //WIN_SHARE_IP/<share_name> /mnt/win_share
To set additional options , add them as a comma-separated list after the
-o option. To get a list of all mount options type
man mount in your terminal.
When the share is manually mounted with the
mount command, it does not persist after a reboot.
/etc/fstab file contains a list of entries that define where how and what filesystem will be mounted on system startup.
To automatically mount a Windows share when your Linux system starts up, define the mount in the
/etc/fstab file. The line must include the hostname or the IP address of the Windows PC, the share name, and the mount point on the local machine.
/etc/fstab file with your text editor :
sudo nano /etc/fstab
Add the following line to the file:
# <file system> <dir> <type> <options> <dump> <pass> //WIN_SHARE_IP/share_name /mnt/win_share cifs credentials=/etc/win-credentials,file_mode=0755,dir_mode=0755 0 0
Run the following command to mount the share:
sudo mount /mnt/win_share
mount command, will read the content of the
/etc/fstab and mount the share.
Next time you reboot the system, the Windows share will be mounted automatically.
Unmounting Windows Share
umount command detaches (unmounts) the mounted file system from the directory tree.
To detach a mounted Windows share, use the
umount command followed by either the directory where it has been mounted or remote share:
sudo umount /mnt/win_share
If the CIFS mount has an entry in the
fstab file, remove it.
umount command will fail to detach the share when it is in use. To find out which processes are accessing the windows share, use the
fuser -m MOUNT_POINT
Once you find the processes, you can stop them with the
kill command and unmount the share.
If you still have problems unmounting the share, use the
--lazy) option, which allows you to unmount a busy file system as soon as it is not busy anymore.
sudo umount -l MOUNT_POINT
In Linux, you can mount a Windows shared using the
mount command with the
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.