Accessing Windows CIFS

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{{Midgard article}}
'''Accessing files on a Windows PC from the Nokia 770'''
'''Accessing files on a Windows PC from the Nokia 770'''

Revision as of 18:16, 6 June 2008

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Accessing files on a Windows PC from the Nokia 770


Step by Step tutorial for beginners

Example situation :

Your PC is accessible through Wifi -- either it is on a LAN (with a Wifi access point or router), or it can establish an ad-hoc connection (e.g. a laptop). You would like to share files in a directory on that PC with the 770 through the wireless LAN, without having to link them up with the USB cable or extract the MMC.

What you need to do is...

On the PC :

Find out or configure the PC's network setup. We must have :

  1. an IP address, existing or invented. Here we will use
  2. the name of the workgroup (or domain, on an enterprise LAN) in which the PC participates. Here we will use noworknogroup
  3. the name of the user in the active session (generally shown in the start menu). Here we will use urbancowboy
  4. the password for that account, if there is one. Here we will use secretpassword.

Now we must create a 'network share', ie a directory that will be accessible through the network.

Here we create a directory named C:\Nokia770. Right-click this directory in Explorer and choose "Sharing and security" (or something like that, I don't have an English Windows version, please correct if wrong !)

In the "Network share" frame you need to check "Share this directory on the network".

Then you will need to enter a name under which the share will appear on the network. It doesn't need to be the same as the directory name. Here we will keep the default Nokia770.

There is also a checkbox that specifies if the share will be 'read-only' from the network or if other machines will also be allowed to write to your PC. The choice is yours...

After you confirm the dialog box the icon for the directory in Explorer will change to show that it is "served". Now we are ready on the PC side.

In between :

We are going to add a small bit of software to the tablet, made available by ITT user 'fanoush' at the following address :

N770, first IT2006 release

N770 second IT2006 release

N800 second IT2007 release

In case of problems I have also made it available on my own site :

for first IT2006 release

It is not a fast server but is unrestricted and the file is small (105 KB).

Either way we will suppose that the file ends up in the usual Documents directory that you see in the Maemo File Manager.

On the Nokia :

You must have Xterm installed and some way to become "root" (and not flinch at typing Linux command lines...).

Establish the Wifi link between Nokia and network or PC.

As root in xterm we must now :

1. go to the actual directory that shows up as 'Documents' :

cd /home/users/MyDocs/.documents

2. create a directory in which we will "see" the network share.

Here we use :
mkdir myPC

3. extract the contents of cifs.tgz :

tar xvzf cifs.tgz

This creates the file cifs.ko in the current directory (you can check by typing ls).
All of the above needs to be done only once. Now comes the fun part of actually connecting the two machines, which takes two commands :

4. The first one loads the cifs.ko kernel module, "teaching" the system how to understand this kind of network share :

insmod ./cifs.ko

This should yield a message like "Now using cifs.ko".

5. If there is no error, we can proceed to "mount" the network share into our guest directory, so that the files on our PC will appear to be also on our tablet. This is a long, detailed command and all the pieces need to be just right, so double-check it :

mount -t cifs //_10.10.10.10/Nokia770_ myPC -o  domain=noworknogroup,user=urbancowboy,password=secretpassword **

(replace the italic parts with your own details of course - type as one single line)

Again, if there is no error message, you can type **ls myPC to check if your PC's files appear on the tablet. Success ! :-)

If the mount command does not respond, check that any firewall on your PC allows devices on the local network to access it. With ZoneAlarm, for example, you'll need to add the IP number of the 770, or your whole DHCP number range, to your "trusted" zone. With M$ XP's build-in Internet Connection Firewall, for another example, you can add port 445 (TCP) for cifs.

Now your share will appear as the myPC directory under Documents in the Maemo File Manager.

Note : these last two commands will need to be issued again each and every time you reboot your tablet. If you are going to use this often it might pay to read a Linux tutorial and learn how these two commands can be saved to a two-line script, to save future typing...

Note : If you are in a network, if you do "smbtree" you will see all sharing hosts, if you need to connect to it (and you want to use cifs) you will type "smbtree -d 3" and read at the line where: "Connection to xx.xx.xx.xx" and this is the wanted ip.