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New to Linux - How do I allow files to be accessed by a windows XP pc?

Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I am working in a windows 2003/XP environment. A Linux pc has been set up by an external contractor so that all voice recordings from our VOIP phone system can be picked up and stored on DVDs via the Linux pc. COLT (contractor) say the software will only work on a Linux o/s.

There a a number of files I need to copy over to the Linux server but I cannot connect to it.
I can ping it by ip but cannot map a drive to it from a windows xp pc.

How do I do this?
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I am using  Redhat Linux 3.4

Will samba work on this version?

Probably the easiest way you are going to do this is with an SFTP client. SSH and SFTP are normally enabled by default in linux, this way you don't have to tinker with the linux machine if you are not comfortable doing so yet. Download a windows SFTP client like "FileZilla" (there are plenty of others, thats just the one I happen to use) and then you can send files to Linux.

There are a number of other ways. Samba as has been mentioned allows Linux to interact with windows via windows' default network share protocol. You could install windows SFU (services for unix) and interact with Linux via NFS, and there are many other ways.


I have downloaded and installed the software from http://filezilla-project.org/
I have put in the ip of the server and used the default port filezilla gave me 14147.
I did not put in a password.

When I try to connect it states "error , cannot connect to server"

What am I doing wrong?

i dont see how that could be the default port. Try port 22


Tried port 22 and I get the message
Connected, waiting for authentication
Protocol error: Unknown protocol identifier (0x83 0x83 0x72). Most likely connected to the wrong port.
Connection to server closed.
Trying to reconnect in 5 seconds
Is a firewall running on the Linux box. It could be blocking the port.


How do I verify wether the the firewall is up on the Linux box?
on a linux box the firewall is managed by a program called iptables

iptables -show ( I think, read man iptables for more info)

should show you all the firewall rules currently in play.

you might have to add a firewall rule to open the port.

usually though the firewall setup suggests unblocking your ssh port.

its not the firewall if you got "unknown protocol" change your sftp settings to use ssl2 instead of ssl1
You could temporarily disable the firewall to see if it is causing the problem.  On redhat:
to turn off the firewall:
service iptables stop
to start the firewall:
service iptables start

It would be safer to list your ip rules and then punch a hole just for ports 21/22, but faster to turn off the firewall, test your ssh connection, then turn firewall back on.
Kerem ERSOYPresident


If you want to map some directory between your windows hosts and your linux system the best way is to do it with samba. Please go to samba. For FTP server will only share files with other FTP clients only. While samba will let you share your directories with windows systems.


The firewall on the server was already off.

How do I use samba?

"How do I use samba?"

Thats why I said not to. It's a topic beyond the scope of a single EE question.

Did you try whatw I said and set the properties of your filezilla session to ssl2?


Sorry , ill open a new question for that.

Did you try whatw I said and set the properties of your filezilla session to ssl2?
How do I do this?
When I open filezilla all I get is a connect to server window with an option to put in a ip, port and password.
If I put in the ip of the server and eg port 22 the filezilla server appears but the Edit-settings , function is greyed out.

gpersand, it's not about you opening a new question - it's just that teaching you how to use samba would be overkill for this situation.


"its not the firewall if you got "unknown protocol" change your sftp settings to use ssl2 instead of ssl1"

How do I do this?
Kerem ERSOYPresident


In fact as Heem14 corrctly pointed out it is just way too much how to use samba.

If we explain here:
- If you use SAMBA you will have a share windows style whicy your windows systems can detectand map to their systems.
- If you have a file transfer profocol like FTP you'll just sending files back and forth using a program. But not able to have a share.

First of al pelase decide what would you like better?  Will it be ok just to transfer files? Then ageing you might be preffer to have a share drive.

If you're content with copying files. Then I'll suggest you to use a SSH secure file transfer protocol client rather than an FTP client that is using ssh or ssl as transport medium. Cus this will require the server end has the same program but server version.

I'll suggest you to use the program called "WinSCP" which is free and opensource and it is GUI eabled and easy to use. It even allows you to view files on the remotte systems and save the changes over the server.

Please check this software: http://winscp.net/eng/download.php#download2
choose the "installation package" cus it will include the windows installer so that you can easily install and create startup links etc.
Kerem ERSOYPresident

If you prefer samba here's the link to the originla samba HowTo file:

Also there's this "unoffical guide" :) It includes several step-by-step istructions to get samba working.
Here's the link:

I apoligize if I sounded grumpy - fact is, I was, but it of course had nothing to do with experts exchange or this question in general.

My point was simply this, The question asker does not seem interested in actually messing around with linux. The linux system was installed by a vendor and all he wants to do is copy a dang file to it. There's no need to get all fancy with teaching him how to setup samba if that isnt something he needs to do - I'm sure he has his hands full administering his Windows network and does not need to add a big project like learning a whole new operating system. This is why I suggested to use SSH based file transfer - of which KeremE, you are right, winSCP is a great program to use, as well as FileZilla.

I'm going to bow out of this question for now, good luck with getting this all running.

Kerem ERSOYPresident

Heem14: No need to be grumpy as you told :) We're all here to help people.

From the very beginning I was not sure what does the asker really want. This is why I asked him to make this clear for all. When it comes to my suggestion with WinSCP, I saw that the asker was having a difficulty with configuration of filezilla. So I've thought a simpler client would be lot easier to configure and use.
I understand the frustration over the OP not wanting to learn something new and just wanting to copy files.

The first thing all of us asked was HOW do you want to copy the files, and the question nobody asked (including me) was does this data thats being copied TO the linux box need to be used BY the linux box in some way?

Or does it just need to serve as a file repository?

gpersand:  I hate to ask, but have you considered calling the contractor who set the linux box up for you and asking what they recommended and could come in and do for you?

Linux is highly flexible, which means that we cant assume anything about your box, how its setup, or anything.

and for us to do so would just mean that pretty much any configuration done OFF SERVER and sent to you WONT work, and then you WONT know how to fix it.

In short, you do need to learn something for yourself if YOU want to do it.  We surely can help, but a lot of the help we can provide depends on YOU being able to understand, troubleshoot, and ask good questions so you can get good answers.

If you are looking for a way to link to the linux box for use by some automated process running on the linux box, then call the contractor and have them help you.  This way you dont break anything.

Of course if you have a spare box laying around and you just want file storage, then google for "freenas"  a stripped down OS that can create a samba share automatically and as it installs it will ask you a short set of questions, all of which you SHOULD know the answers to already, and boom youve got a file server inside of 10 minutes.


Thanks for the help so far guys.

Yes, you are right, I dont want to be a Linux expert. The server hosts some voice recording software for our ip phones.

All I need to be able to do is copy over a patch from a windows xp pc to thr Linux server as the recorder software is logging loads of faults.

Our Linux server and software is supposed to be fully managed but the people who they send here seem to be total juniors. They had problems setting up the modem so that they could dial up to our network to administrate (do I have to say more). Another engineer was sent down to install the patch but again he failed as he couldn't copy it over.

Anyway I have decided to use my initiative to help them out as much as I can, hence this question.
I thought that if I copy the patch over I could get instrtuctions from them on how to install, rather than waiting for them to have an engineer free.

I will try WinSCP and get back to you if I need any help.
Have you tried burning the patch to a cd from the windows machine, then accessing at the linux system?
Im assuming that the patch is a plain text file, in the unix world the term "patch" is a adjustment to source code to fix a bug or add a feature.

If thats all we are talking about then the problem could be a different between the way windows handles files and the way unix does.

On a windows system the end of a line in a text file is determined by the ascii sequence: "carriage return, line feed"  on a unix system its just "line feed"

often when coping files from windows to unix you have a bunch of (now) extraneous "carriage returns"

This will mess up your text file as far as usability is concerned.

Cant tell from what youve said if this is an issue or not.

if the linux box is running ssh

then winscp should be able to make a connection and copy the file no problem.

Sorry about the contractor bit, thats tough.



The vendor engineers have finally used Samba to copy over the patch.

Thanks for your help guys.
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