The Network Neighborhood Browser

The interaction with the network neighborhood is done with the Network Neighborhood browser. It contains all network items — i.e. workgroups, servers, and shares — Smb4K was able to find. They are organized in a network tree, and you can navigate through it by either clicking the control next to the item name or by executing the item itself.

In the network tree, the master browser of each workgroup or domain is highlighted by blue font color. Mounted shares are marked with the respective folder icon and an italic font.

The network neighborhood browser

The selection of multiple network items is supported. So, it is possible to e.g. mount or preview several shares at once.

Browsing

Smb4K automatically scans the network neighborhood for active workgroups and domains on start-up and presents them in the network neighborhood browser. Opening a workgroup item shows the servers belonging to it. If you want to access the shares of one of the servers, you have to open the desired server.

Smb4K uses a traditional scan mode, where initially only workgroups and domains are looked up and scans are only made when necessary — i.e. when you execute a network item —.

There is also the possibility to wake up sleeping servers prior to scanning the network neighborhood (Wake-On-LAN). If this feature is enabled, Smb4K sends a magic package to each server that is to be woken up and waits the defined time until it starts the lookup of the workgroups and domains. The Wake-On-LAN setting can be turned on in the configuration dialog. The servers that should to be woken up have to be defined in the Custom Options dialog.

Searching

To search the network neighborhood for shares that contain a certain search item, execute the Search (Ctrl+F) action (see also the Actions an Popup Menu section below). The search toolbar opens at the bottom of the network neighborhood browser.

The network neighborhood browser with visible search toolbar

Enter the search term in the line edit and press the Enter key or click the Search button. Smb4K starts to search the entire network neighborhood. When the search finished, all shares matching the search term are highlighted (selected). If you would like to do something with all discovered shares (e.g. mount or preview), you can immediately do this now. Otherwise, you can use the Up and Down buttons to jump to the individual search results. The Clear button can be used to clear the search. To close the search toolbar, press the Close button.

Actions and Popup Menu

For the network neighborhood browser several actions are defined. They are present in the menubar under Network, in the toolbar and the popup menu. The following ones are available:

Scan Network|Workgroup|Computer (F5)

Scan the whole network neighborhood, the highlighted workgroup/domain or computer for new entries. This action is visible by default and will be replaced by the Abort action if a network scan is running.

Abort (Ctrl+A)

Abort any running process of the network neighborhood browser. This action is invisible by default and will only be visible instead of the Scan Network|Workgroup|Computer action when a network scan is running.

Search (Ctrl+F)

Search the network neighborhood for a specified search term. Activating this action opens the search toolbar where you can enter the search term and start the search.

Add Bookmark (Ctrl+B)

Add a bookmark to the currently selected remote share. This action is disabled if no share is selected.

Read the Adding Bookmarks section for more details.

Open Mount Dialog (Ctrl+O)

Open the dialog for mounting shares "manually". This feature may be needed if Smb4K cannot find a server from which you want to mount a certain shared resource.

Authentication (Ctrl+T)

Open the authentication dialog. You can provide the login and password for the selected server or share. If a workgroup or no item is selected, this action is disabled.

Custom Options (Ctrl+C)

Open the Custom Options dialog. You can set several custom options for the selected server or share. If a workgroup or no item is selected, this menu entry is disabled.

Preview (Ctrl+V)

Preview the contents of the selected remote share. This action is only enabled if a share is selected. Printer shares cannot be previewed.

Print File (Ctrl+P)

Print a file on a remote printer. This action is only available if a printer share is selected.

Mount (Ctrl+M)

Mount the selected remote share. By default and if you clicked anything different than a share with type "Disk" or "IPC", this action is disabled. If you selected a mounted share, this action is replaced by the Unmount action.

Unmount (Ctrl+U)

Unmount the selected share. This action is invisible by default and will only be visible instead of the Mount action when the share is currently mounted.

Although you can interact with the network neighborhood using the keyboard shortcuts mentioned above, in most cases it is more convenient to use the mouse. By right clicking you can open a popup menu. It contains all actions that are available in the network neighborhood browser. Depending on the position where you clicked (on a network item or on the viewport), some of them may be disabled. The figure below shows the popup menu opened on a remote share.

The popup menu of the network neighborhood browser

Tooltips

For each network item a tooltip is provided that contains various information like the name of the workgroup and master browser, the name and IP address of the host, the name of the share, etc.

The tooltips can be disabled in the configuration dialog.

Mounting a Share

There are three options available to mount a remote share:

  1. Execute the icon representing the remote share in the network neighborhood browser. (Depending on your KDE settings, this is done by either single or double clicking the icon.)

  2. Select the remote share and click the Mount menu entry. Alternatively, you can press the Ctrl+M keyboard shortcut.

  3. If Smb4K was not able to find the server where the share is located, you can press the Open Mount Dialog (Ctrl+O) menu entry and a mount dialog will be opened:

    The "Mount Share" dialog

    Here you can enter the location of the share either as Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) address in the form

    //[USER@]SERVER/SHARE

    or

    \\[USER@]SERVER\SHARE

    or as URL in the form

    [smb:]//[user@]server:port/share

    The OK button will be enabled and you can press it to mount the share. However, it is advisable to enter the IP address and the workgroup of the server, too. If you want to add the share to the bookmarks at the same time, tick the Add this share to the bookmarks check box.

Often a share is password protected. In this case, an authentication dialog will appear and you have to enter the correct user name (if not already provided) and password. Smb4K will proceed mounting the share unless a wrong user name or password was supplied. In that case, the authentication dialog will reappear. If the mount process was successful, the user will be shown a notification and the share will appear in the Mounted Shares view. If mounting fails, a notification with the error message that was returned by mount.cifs(8) (Linux®) or mount_smbfs(8) (BSD) will be shown.

Printing Files on Remote Printers

To print a file on a remote printer, open the print dialog by clicking the printer icon or choosing the Print File (Ctrl+P) menu item.

The print dialog

In the Information section various information about the printer is shown. Under File and Settings you have to provide the path to the file you want to print and the desired number of copies. Press Print to start the print process.

Smb4K currently supports PDF, Postscript, image, and text files. If you try to print a file with an unsupported mimetype, a notification with an error message will appear telling you the mimetype is not supported. In this case you have to convert the file manually to Postscript or PDF and try again.

Previewing Shares

Smb4K provides the ability to preview remote shares. If you click the Preview (Ctrl+V) menu entry, the contents of the selected remote share will be opened in a preview dialog.

The preview dialog

The preview dialog acts like a simple file manager. You can navigate through the contents of the remote share by clicking the folder icons in the list view. You can go one level up by using the Up button and reload the contents of the current folder by pressing the Reload button. The current location is displayed in the combo box on the right hand side. You can also access already visited folders with it.

By default, the preview dialog only shows folders and files that are not hidden. You can change this behavior in the configuration dialog. File transfers or the like are not possible.

Providing Authentication Information

Many servers or remote shares are password protected. In that case, a password dialog appears asking you for the user name and password. The same happens, if you click the Authentication (Ctrl+T) menu entry.

The authentication dialog

If a user name has already been provided, it will be shown in the respective field. If it is wrong or no user name was provided, you have to enter one. The password, however, may be left blank. Clicking the OK button commits the data. Depending on your choice in the configuration dialog, the user name and password will be stored permanently in a digital wallet or not at all. In the latter case you have to provide them every time they are needed.

Defining Custom Options

Use the Custom Options dialog if you want to

  • define custom mount or Samba options for a single server or share that deviate from the ones defined in the configuration dialog,

  • define a server that should be woken up prior to network scans or mount attempts (Wake-On-LAN feature, see here),

  • always mount a certain share on start-up or if the corresponding profile is loaded.

The dialog is opened by clicking the Custom Options (Ctrl+C) menu entry. Depending on your selection, the settings either apply to all shares of a server or to a single one.

The custom options dialog

The Default button is enabled if the entries in the dialog deviate from the settings you defined in the configuration dialog. By clicking it, you can reset the entries in the dialog to their default values. The OK button is enabled if you changed the settings in the dialog. Clicking it will commit the custom settings and close the dialog.

Note

Under BSD, the dialog contains less entries than if you run a different operating system, because several of the options are not supported.

Mounting

In this tab you can define settings related to mounting. Checking the Always remount this share button for a selected share leads to it being remounted on every program start. For information about all other settings see here.

Samba

You can define the SMB port and if Kerberos should be used for authentication. For detailed information on these settings, please see here.

Wake-On-LAN

To make the Wake-On-LAN feature work, you need to provide the MAC address of the server you selected. Currently, Smb4K has no way to determine the MAC address, so you need to find it out on your own. Afterwards, you can define if Smb4K should send a magic Wake-On-LAN package to the selected host before the network neighborhood is scanned and/or one of its shares is mounted.

Adding Bookmarks

A bookmark is added by selecting a remote share (only these can be bookmarked) and pressing the Ctrl+B keyboard shortcut or selecting the Add Bookmark menu item. The bookmark will then be accessible through the Bookmarks menu. See the section Bookmarks for more details.

The bookmarks can be used to mount remote shares.