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Connecting to file servers is something most people do on a daily basis even without thinking about it. In Linux, it may not be intuitive how to quickly connect to a samba or ftp server without a separate program. Here are a few different ways to connect to a remote file server without needing to touch a terminal.

Using Keyboard Shortcut

You can connect to a server by opening the run application window with the Alt+F2 keyboard shortcut. You will just need to specify the server type by adding the protocol at the beginning of the command. For example smb:// will connect to a samba share; other supported protocols are ssh, ftp, sftp, http, and https.

Note: In the example below my server name is playground and the shared folder is called music.

run-application-2.png

If your server requires a password to connect, fill out the next window that pops up and select how long you would like it to store your password.

connect-to-server-3.png

A Nautilus window will automatically open with the server you just connected to, and you should have a shortcut under places on the left side and a shortcut on your desktop.

nautilus-1.png

From GNOME Menu

If you are using Ubuntu, and many other GNOME based distributions, you will have a places menu on your top menu bar. Open that menu and click connect to server.

places-menu.png

A new window will open up with a drop down so you can select what type of server you are connecting to.

connect-to-server-1.png

For a samba/cifs server select Windows share and fill out the required information.

Note: Unlike the run application window, you do not need the slashes to connect here.

connect-to-server-2.png

Alternatively, you can also get to the connect to server window from Nautilus

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