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Krister's Blog
krister at hallergard dot com


Last Updated:
2020-07-18
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SMB v.2 Shares access from Android devices

Though I nowadays only have one PC on our local network, I have set up SMB shares to allow access to Office files & MultiMedia files from all our Android devices, and that includes our Android SmartTV. All partitions on the MultiBoot PC are setup as SMB servers, so that the PC can be accessed regardless of which operating system has been used to boot. With using SMB version 1 protocol it has been possible to avoid using passwords. Addendum 2020-07-22: SMB version 2 requires naming user, but the password can be "blank".

Newer Linux installs do not allow SMB1 Server anymore!

View Video 5 min

Linux

Starting with Samba version 4.11, the SMB2 protocol (or higher) has to be used. To get that to function I had to edit the Samba configuration, shown to the right for SMB2 server - and Samba passwords had to be introduced.
  • Fedora 31 from October 2019
  • Kubuntu 20.04 from April 2020
  • Fedora 32 from April 2020
  • openSUSE 15.2 from July 2020
I used the same user name and the same password as for the distros. Addendum 2020-07-22: Later I learnt that the password in SMB2 could "blank", so I went for that.

With my major Linux distros changing, I also had to change the Android devices to become SMB2 clients.

Windows

For the moment I am keeping the SMB1 protocol for Windows and (the older Linux hardly ever used) waiting for the VLC issue to be resolved (see below!). Addendum 2020-07-22: Decided to move to SMB2 also for Windows, still without password, by unticking the box for SMB1 Server in Windows Features. Decided to keep the tick for the SMB1 client to be able to access from Windows itself the USB stick on the Router.


/etc/samba/smb.conf
updated 2020-09-09

Android

I tested four apps that support SMB2 on my Galaxy TAB S2 running Android 7.0 Nougat. I also checked if the created SMB2 client links could handle both SMB2 (Linux) and SMB1 (Windows) Servers.

ASTRO File Manager

Since about half a year back ASTRO can no longer create a link to the root of the SMB shares - each shared folder has to have its own link. This applies to both SMB1 and SMB2. When creating a SMB2 client link, the first time you will be asked for credentials (user & password), which will be remembered. If you use a created SMB2 client link to access a SMB1 server (on say Windows), you will again (at least the first time) get asked for credentials. If so just leave everything blank if your SMB1 is free from passwords. And then you might be asked for credentials next time you try to login to SMB2.

ES File Explorer

ES can create a SMB2 link to the root of the SMB Shares. When creating a SMB2 client link you are asked for credentials, which will be remembered. When trying to login to an SMB1 server using a SMB2 client link, you will get the credentials screen. If so just tick anonymous to log in. If later trying to log into a SMB2 server, you might have to recreate the SMB2 client link from scratch.

AndSMB (samba client)

SMB1 Shares to the root are possible, whereas SMB2 links need the folders to be named. The SMB2 links cannot log in to a SMB1 server.

X-plore File Manager

My favourite! Links to the root possible for both SMB1 and SMB2. An SMB2 client link cannot be used to login to a SMB1 server.


X-plore FileMgr
Android TV

Our SONY Bravia Android TV runs on Android 8.0 Oreo. SMB shares seem to work the same as for the tablet.

VLC

Addendum 2020-07-22: It seems that the VLC android app version 3.2 is not yet compatible with SMB2. On our Android tablet and on our Android TV the Samba Share's root and its folders can be assessed, but no content of the folders is found. This happens with SMB2 Servers on Windows as well as on Linux. Hope this issue will be resolved soon.
Addendum 2020-07-23: Installing VLC version 3.3.0-beta6 resolved the problem.
Addendum 2020-08-07: Sorry! VLC version 3.3.0-beta6 does not work either - don't know how I drew that conclusion? Had to go back to version 3.1.7
Addendum 2020-09-09: VLC ver. 3.2.12 will work with Linux if adding "server min protocol = NT1" to smb.conf

KODI

After creating source links KODI, works very well for both SMB1 and SMB2. SMB2 client links can be used to access SMB1 server without further action.




KODI creating SMB2 source