Where does Nautilus store it’s folder share info?

Using a GUI is nice and all but sometimes I want to know where configuration data is stored.

The Gnome file manager, Nautilus, allows Linux users to share folders on a Windows network. Users of other operating systems will find this hard to believe but before this it was difficult to do as you needed to be an administrator and edit a configuration file called /etc/samba/smb.conf (Users of other desktop managers use similar tools).

This was convenient but I wanted to know where Nautilus puts this configuration data. I searched my home directory, I looked in /etc/samba/ (just in case) and eventually found this page:

I located the config files.

It appears as though /var/lib/samba/usershares holds a text file for each share that has been created.

The usershares directory is owned by root:sambashare and the files inside are owned by the user sharing the folder, so I guess it’s a compromise between a system process (Samba) and users wanting to configure it.

Editing those files is simple, and I guess I could use “net usershare” too. I had to restart Samba too which probably wouldn’t be needed if I had use the “net” command.

Desktop apps

Scroll like you mean it in Windows

One of the most annoying aspects of Windows after using Linux on the desktop for 10+ years was how the mouse wheel scrolled windows.

On Linux desktops I could hover over a window and scroll it without focusing. It was really useful when I had a browser window with instructions behind a terminal or just comparing the contents of two windows. The same happened when scrolling panes in file managers. I could scroll directories when hovered over that side of the window and files when over on the other..

So, imagine my frustration when I realised I had to click the side of the Explorer window I wanted to scroll in Windows? It was doubly annoying if I had selected files as I’d have to click an empty area or CTRL click an already selected file to select that side of the window.

Well, there’s a simple solution. Alex Leonard found and blogged about Wizmouse. It simply does what I expect, it scrolls the window under my pointer, whether it’s focused or not.



Fixing Ubuntu 8.10

I suppose you could say I’m a long time Debian/Ubuntu Linux user, but the recent upgrade to 8.10 completely messed up my desktop machine.

  • Sound was broken in Flash. That’s happened before and doing an aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound fixed that, but from time to time sound would break and I’d have to killall -9 pulseaudio;pulseaudio -D to get it working again.
  • My shiny new Xbox360 controller refused to work correctly in Ubuntu 8.10. Despite assurances on various Ubuntu sites that a fully updated system should now work, it didn’t. Moving the analogue stick moved the mouse pointer.
  • Editing a spreadsheet in Open Office proved impossible as whatever key or action I last took would repeat if I used the cursor keys. Hit “a” and “a” would appear in every cell when the cursor was moved. I used the mouse and TAB a lot while working on my last VAT return.
  • I wrote a DVD+RW just fine on Monday, but 3 days later when I tried to erase it, Gnomebaker complained it didn’t have permission to access /dev/sr0 (I think). I tried to mount another CD and Ubuntu complained it couldn’t read ISO9660 CDs.

I tried recreating my user account in case that helped. It didn’t. The only way to fix my broken Ubuntu 8.10 was to reinstall from scratch. After backing everything up onto one of my external drives the install couldn’t have been easier.

So, now? Any problems? ‘Fraid so.

  • I had to install flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound to get sound working in Firefox and Flash. Yay, Youtube is sounding sweet again! No lockups yet.
  • My joypad still didn’t work, despite the fact I had upgraded everything. Thankfully this bug report came to the rescue. If your Xbox360 controller refuses to work in Ubuntu, try this:

    $ xinput list
    See which device number the Xbox controller has…
    $ xinput set-int-prop THATDEVICENUMBER ‘Device Enabled’ 32 0

    I’ll probably have to add that to the Gnome Session so it’s permanent.

  • works fine thankfully. That was a showstopper bug. I even considered using Mac OS X for a moment.

Backuppc is reinstalled and configured. It now has nice RRD graphs! I’m also blown away by the folder sharing in Nautilus. This might have been available in 8.04 but I never noticed. Sharing folders via SMB has never been so easy!

I haven’t reinstalled everything I need yet, but I’m happy that my desktop is working again.


Open a new window here in Ubuntu Linux


One of the things I missed a long time ago in Windows completely was the handy “start” command I could type from a command prompt to open a new Windows Explorer window in whatever directory I was in. Can you still do that? Does anyone use Windows from the command prompt any more?


I have since discovered you can do the same thing in Ubuntu Linux (and any other Linux for that matter of course!). I’m a big fan of Gnome, which uses the Nautilus file manager. If you’re fond of navigating your computer using a terminal, it’s really easy to open a Nautilus window in the current directory. Simply run ‘nautilus .‘ and a new window will open in that directory.

Don’t tell me you’re a keyboard junkie, I am too. I use Vim! Nautilus is still very useful though. Besides it’s obvious use as a file manager It’s dead handy for copying files to a remote server using any number of transmission protocols from ssh and SMB through to plain old ftp. But more on that some other time eh?


mcblue – very nice theme for M …

mcblue – very nice theme for Metacity.


KDE Insider – Gnome to KDE: Mi …

KDE Insider – Gnome to KDE: Mission Accomplished, Convert Thrilled, via IRC, the new “KDE Switch” story.

Yes, it’s true. I like the KDE® desktop enough to change my whole computing world around. Here’s the bottom line: KDE gives me more choices and flexibility, and better compatibility with the rest of the technology world.

KDE relieved my fears about switching. I can read my files, import e-mail addresses from my Palm® to the KMail® messaging and collaboration client, and keep my Web favorites. All Gnome hardware—including my printer, broadband cable, Zip drive, and Palm handheld—works perfectly with my KDE-based PC.

To my surprise, the process of switching was as easy as the slashdot hype had promised. I was up and running in less than one day, Girl Scout’s honor. First, let me tell you more about why I converted.