Add Samba to your Pogoplug

Samba2 Optware package is a good choice for Pogoplugs. Samba 3 is a good package as well but needs a swapfile. If you’re using Optware I suggest samba 2, for Debian use samba 3

Install samba2 with ipkg after making the root file system write accessible:

mount -o rw,remount /
ipkg install samba2

Configure samba by going to /opt/etc/samba with:

cd /opt/etc/samba

Edit the smb.conf with your favorite editor after making a back up copy.

cp smb.conf

You can now edit smb.conf or use swat to set up samba.

nano smb.conf

If you are doing this manually (not using swat), here is a sample smb.conf. Adapt it to your system and security needs (this has none) . Would also suggest modifying your smb.conf and not overwriting with this:

#smb.conf begin
# Global Parameters
workgroup = your-workgroup-name
domain master = no
local master = no
preferred master = no
wins support = no
syslog = 0
guest account = root
netbios name = pogo
encrypt passwords = no
load printers = no
lm announce = yes
printing = bsd
printcap name = /dev/null
log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
max log size = 50
dns proxy = no


# for Optware you can use the following path 
  path = /tmp/.cemnt
# for Debian you need to make a directory like /home/shared and set the path to that
  available = yes
  create mask = 0777
  directory mask = 0777
  read only = no
  browsable = yes
  public = yes

  writable = yes
#smb.conf end

You need to add at least one user to your system (do this for each user you want to add to your system):

adduser -H sambausername

with sambausername set you need to add to the system password file.

smbpasswd -a sambausername

to add it to the samba user password file.

Before you start samba you should check for errors in your config file using:


If there are any errors, fix them and rerun testparm. When you find no errors you can start samba.

For Optware:

/opt/etc/init.d/S80samba restart

For Debian

/etc/init.d/samba restart

If you change the configuration file at any time in the future you can use the restart command again.

If you are using Optware and want to start samba at power-on you can add a command to start samba at the end of your /etc/init.d/rcS file or the mount_optextX file. to do this:

cd /etc/init.d
nano rcS

move to the end of the file and add the following line

/opt/etc/init.d/S80samba start

This is not necessary if you are using Debian.

Make your root file system read-only after finishing with:

mount -o ro,remount /

When you connect to your plug the share name will be all.

  1. So, I’m not sure why your pogoplug doesn’t have unless it was removed from their software at some point. If you are a member of the nslu2 group I think you should post your issue there, yours probably isn’t the only pogoplug without the package. Moreover oddballhero certainly knows more about this sort of thing than I do and he’ll likely answer.

    But, if I had to guess–and it’s only a guess, I’d say that:


    is the package you need to install with ipkg.

  2. I ran into the same problem.

    Ipkg install libnsl

    It should install the file and samba will be working.

  3. Can you please do a tutorial on installing optware? thanks 🙂

  4. Hey, I successfully installed samba and can access it. But, can you access the hard drive connected to the pogoplug via samba? That was kinda what I was hoping for so I don’t have to go online to to change the files every time. And, if you can, how?

    • On vacation right now.. Did you create a folder on the drive with the same name as the share in smb.conf? If so, is the folder writable by others? That’s the best I can do til I get home next week.

    • So, I’m back home with access to my stuff. The answer to you question is yes you should be able to access a usb hard drive attached to your pogoplug. That is, assuming you have:


      # for Optware you can use the following path path = /tmp/.cemnt

      at the end of your smb.conf and that your usb hard disk is mounted under


      If it’s not showing up, when you browse your network there could be one of several problems, which leads to some questions:

      Have you added the drive to your pogoplug on (This isn’t the only way to get the drive to be mounted, but it’s the easiest.) Do you have the same workgroup name in smb.conf as the one on the computer you are using to browse the network?

      That’s the best I can do without more info. Note: the answer I gave while I was on vacation applied to a debian linux install rather than optware, so it probably didn’t apply.

  5. I’ve got samba running on my pogoplug v2, and my mac and windows computers can connect to it great. My drives are mapped and showing up, and accessing content on them from Windows or Mac is awesome. Where I’m running into issues is when I try to connect to the pogoplug via smb through XBMC on a Mac or IOS versions. XBMC works great on Windows. On mac or ios xbmc I go see the workgroup, my pogoplug, but get an invalid argument when I try to connect.

    I’m so close, but feel like I may be missing something in permissions or user settings. If you think you might have an idea for anything I could try, I’m happy to try anything, and get you any information that would be helpful in troubleshooting. This will be a great device/setup if I can work out this final kink.

    Thanks for your guide and any help!

    • So, I don’t use Mac or xbmc. I use VLC instead. On my both my windows machine and my linux machine the share needs to be mounted on a mount point in order for vlc to open a movie. In both cases, trying the “open folder” menu item fails to find any movies on my share, but if I use the “open file” menu item and browse to the share I can then play the movies from the share. I suspect that the problem might be similar on your windows system but don’t know how that will play out on xbmc.

      On the mac, the newer versions of the mac os no longer use samba they us a proprietary program to manage samba shares. But I’ll describe the linux/samba solution in case something similar will work for you.

      First you need to have the program gvfs-fuse installed and configured to make the permissions work

      sudo apt-get install gvfs-fuse
      sudo usermod -G fuse your-username

      Then log out and log back in. At that point VLC will be able to open files on a mounted samba share.

      The samba share in linux is mounted in the folder ~/.gvfs

  6. Thanks for the response Bruce. I’ve been able to connect from my Mac (with Finder – the file browser) as I’m on OS 10.6.8 (last version before Lion killed Samba), and VLC can play my files from Pogoplug SMB shares just fine.

    That makes me think that there’s something that XBMC (at least in the IOS and Mac versions) does differently then the Mac OS, Windows OS, or Windows XBMC, to access the shares. Maybe it’s got something to do with users or permissions?

    When I SSH into my plug and try to run certain commands you mention above I get some errors. I’ll list them below if they’re helpful in seeing what my issue might be.

    -When I try to do “testparm” I get “command not found”
    -When I try to add user, it says “login already in use” which makes sense because I added this name before
    -When I try to set a password “smbpasswd -a mypassword, it says “smbpasswd command not found”

    There are also a few things in your config setup that aren’t currently in mine.

    domain master = no
    local master = no
    preferred master = no
    wins support = no
    syslog = 0
    lm announce = yes

    Again I really appreciate the feedback, and if there’s any more info that would be helpful, I’d gladly get it to you.

    • The smb.conf file in my post sets

      security = share

      That means that no passwords are required. If you want to use passwords, then you need to set

      security = user

      In that case you will need to add users, and probably need to install smbpasswd using ipkg assuming it’s in the optware repository of course.

      Also, I wasn’t clear. The commands I showed for gvfs were run on my linux desktop, not my pogoplug. I needed them to allow vlc to find the share because linux mounts samba shares under ~/.gvfs and not under /mount. Note: Linux mounts disk drives under /mount. If vlc finds the files on your mac then you don’t need those commands. But my understanding is that Mac OS is similar to Linux in some ways. So I wonder where your samba shares are mounted. If, like Linux, they are not mounted in the same directory as other drives then xbmc might not be able to find them.

      • I see. When I connect from the mac there is no password required and I can access the shares from a guest account. My root login and password also work to connect.

        I’m not sure about how the mac actually mounts the share, but I did find this .plist file in the share’s hidden files.




        I think that might be something with how spotlight indexes the drive though.

      • So, I installed xbmc on my linux desktop and it finds my samba shares fine, better than vlc does, in fact. That said, I know almost nothing about mac, so it’s hard for me to comment on it. I see online that a .plist file is a mac xml file used to describe data, but I don’t know what it’s used for or what your’s means.

        Looking around it seems that the mac mounts files in Volumes, is that where it shows up for you in finder? If not, can you do a search and find out where it is mounted???

      • Have you tried the suggestions shown here?

      • Yes indeed. That’s my comment on the very end. An update to that is that now all versions of XBMC can see all my SMB devices (mac, PC, and pogoplug) but only the pogoplug won’t let me connect. This makes me think that there must be something wrong with the way that Samba is setup. At least in the eyes of Mac XBMC and IOS xbmc. Because Windows and Xbox(Xbmc4Xbox) connect to the pogoplug via SMB just fine. So strange…

      • I’m running out of ideas here. Since XBMC works fine on my systems (Linux, Windows 7) and samba on my dockstar.I think it must be something to do with either

        1. differences between a dockstar and a pogoplug,
        2. differences between your smb.conf and mine or
        3. differences between the Mac version of XBMC and the windows/linux versions.

        I don’t really believe it’s 1. which leaves 2. and 3. If I had to bet I’d be betting on 3. Of course I can’t do any testing with the equipment I have since it’s all working. So here are a couple of things I can think of to try. Add:

        lm announce = yes

        line to your smb.conf and then restarting samba on your pogoplug.

        The other things I can think of are using samba 3 on your pogoplug instead of samba2. Unfortunately to do that you need to add a linux swap to your pogoplug. Not sure what all that entails but I’m not personally fond of the idea. The last suggestion is much more complex which is to install debian or arch linux on your pogoplug. To me this last option is the most likely to work in my mind but no warranties expressed or implied.

      • Well I guess I was wrong. I just realized that when my PC accesses the SMB shares it doesn’t show the workgroup. The mac and IOS do. I went into the Userdata Sources.xml file and copied the formatting of the SMB share to the mac and replaced it with paths to the pogoplug. Sure enough that let me connect and everything is streaming flawlessly. WOW, can’t believe I just didn’t have the path right this whole time. I could have swore I tried writing it every possible way. Thanks for hanging with me on this Bruce. Greatly appreciate all the help.

  7. Hey Bruce,

    Long time no chat. I’ve been happily using Samba2 for a year now with no issues, but I’m planning to upgrade to Mavericks soon and would like similar access to my Pogoplug without running the dedicated app. I’m thinking Samba3 would be nice to have, and since my E-02 version has 256mb of ram, maybe it could handle the load. I’d like to get your thoughts. This article seems to promote upgrading (even if using optware). See the section “Samba2 to Samba3 Conversion”. I’m not sure on how to complete some of the steps in that walkthrough though, and I don’t want to figure it out if it’s just not going to work in the end. What do you think? A worthwhile thing to do?

    • I’m using samba 2 myself. My home network has Debian 6, Ubuntu 12.04, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Vista. None of them seem to have any issues with my pogoplug share so I’m not planning to go to samba 3 at this point. I don’t have any Macs so It’s hard for me to comment. I do know that, for a while at least, my sister-in-law’s Mac had issues with samba but don’t know if that’s been addressed or if moving to samba 3 would help. Sorry.

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