Installing and Configuring the Windows Network Drive App

The Windows Network Drive app creates a control panel on your Admin page for seamless mounting of SMB/CIFS file shares on ownCloud servers that run on Linux. It does not work on Windows IIS or Windows Apache setups, but only Linux servers, because it requires the Samba client. (Samba is the free software implementation of the SMB/CIFS networking protocol.)

Any Windows file share, and Samba servers on Linux and other Unix-type operating systems use the SMB/CIFS file-sharing protocol. The files and directories on the SMB/CIFS server will be visible on your Files page just like your other ownCloud files and folders. They are labeled with a little four-pane Windows-style icon, and the left pane of your Files page includes a Windows Network Drive filter.

Files page view of Windows network shares.

Files are synchronized bi-directionally, and you can create, upload, and delete files and folders. You have the option of allowing users to create personal mounts of their own SMB/CIFS shares, and controlling whether they can share them.

ownCloud server admins can create Windows Network Drive mounts, and optionally allow users to create their own personal Windows Network Drive mounts. The password for each mount is encrypted and stored in the ownCloud database, using a long random secret key stored in config.php. This allows ownCloud to access the shares when the users who own the mounts are not logged in.


Enable the Windows Network Drive app on your ownCloud Apps page. Then there are a few dependencies to install.

You must install the ownCloud php5-libsmbclient binary; please refer to the README in your account for instructions on obtaining it.

You also need the Samba client installed on your Linux system. This is included in all Linux distributions; on Debian, Ubuntu, and other Debian derivatives this is smbclient. On SUSE, Red Hat, CentOS, and other Red Hat derivatives it is samba-client.

Additional Installation Steps

If your Linux distribution ships with libsmbclient 3.x, which is included in the Samba client, you may need to set up the HOME variable in Apache to prevent a segmentation fault. If you have libsmbclient 4.1.6 and higher it doesn’t seem to be an issue, so you won’t have to change your HOME variable.

To set up the HOME variable on Ubuntu, modify the /etc/apache2/envvars file:

unset HOME
export HOME=/var/www

In Red Hat/CentOS, modify the /etc/sysconfig/httpd file and add the following line to set the HOME variable in Apache:

export HOME=/usr/share/httpd

By default CentOS has activated SELinux, and the httpd process can not make outgoing network connections. This will cause problems with the curl, ldap and samba libraries. You’ll need to get around this in order to make this work. First check the status:

getsebool -a | grep httpd
httpd_can_network_connect --> off

Then enable support for network connections:

setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1

In openSUSE, modify the /usr/sbin/start_apache2 file:

export HOME=/var/lib/apache2

Restart Apache, open your ownCloud Admin page and start creating SMB/CIFS mounts.

Admin-created SMB Mounts

When you create a new SMB share you need the login credentials for the share, the server address, the share name, and the folder you want to connect to.

  1. First enter the ownCloud mountpoint for your new SMB share. This must not be an existing folder.
  2. Then enter which ownCloud users or groups get access to the share
  3. Next, enter the address of the server that contains the SMB share
  4. Then the Windows share name
  5. Then the root folder of the share

You have four options for login credentials:

  • Global credentials. Uses the credentials set in the Global credentials fields.
  • User credentials. For admin-created global mountpoints; users must click on the share and then enter their personal credentials to access the share.
  • Login credentials is for users to connect to the mountpoint using their Windows domain login credentials.
  • Custom Credentials. When you select this, a form appears for entering your custom login and password for the share. You must supply this login to users who are granted access to the share.
Form on Admin page for creating Windows network drive shares.

Click to enlarge


When you create a new mountpoint using Login credentials you must log out of ownCloud, and then log back in so you can access the share. You only have to do this the first time.

Personal SMB Mounts

Users create their own personal SMB mounts on their Personal pages. These are created the same way as Admin-created shares. Users have only two options for login credentials:

  • Personal credentials. Your own login to the share.
  • Custom credentials. When you select this, a form appears for entering your custom login and password for the share.
Form on Personal page for creating Windows network drive shares.

Click to enlarge

To share your personal SMB mounts, go to your Files page and share your SMB files or folders just like any other file or folder. You should use custom credentials on shared mounts so that you do not give away your own Windows network drive login.

All documentation licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.