For those of you who already use Gigolo you may be wondering why anybody needs a HowTo on it's use. You're right, it's self explanatory. I started to use lxde and xfce recently and noticed that they do not have a way to browse network shares through their native file managers. I recently discovered Gigolo and the more I used it the more impressed I got. So consider this more an introduction for those who didn't know it existed.
PLEASE NOTE: Gigolo is a facilitator to access and mount remote shares. It uses the same base samba client packages as other methods so if you're currently having a problem connecting to a remote share, Gigolo isn't going fix that.
STEP 1: Prerequisites
Make sure the following packages are installed. If they are not then install them:
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sudo apt-get install gigolo sudo apt-get install gvfs-fuse
Launch gigolo then go to Edit > Preferences Then Close Preferences and select the "View" button:
enable: "Toolbar", "Side Panel", and "Status Icon"
STEP 3: Network Browsing
When you open up gigolo click on the Network tab on the side panel and it will eventually show you all your workgroups and all the hosts within those workgroups. Once you find the share you're looking for simply double click to mount it. A dialog box will open asking for the following information:
Service type: Windows Share
Server: It should be auto filled
Share: It should be auto filled
Username: Only required if your remote share requires credentials.
The remote share should be displayed in the right panel of gigolo and double clicking the share will open a file manager so you can access it's contents.
STEP 3a: Connecting Directly to a Specific Machine
You don't have to browse to the remote machine you can connect to it directly by name or ip address:
Gigolo > Actions > Connect > Service Type = Windows Share > Server
In the "Server" Box you can put the remote machine name or ip address ( which will allow for a faster connect if you have static ip addresses on your boxes ). The "Share" combo box should then list all the available shares to that box once the "reload" button is selected.
STEP 4: ( OPTIONAL ) Auto Mounting Remote Shares on Boot
First: Set gigolo to start at login.
Create a new entry in StartUp Applications:
Menu > Preferences > StartUp Applications > Add > Command = gigolo
Menu > System Tools > System Settings > Startup Programs > Add > Command = gigolo
Menu > Settings > Session & Startup > Application Autostart > Add > Command: gigolo
Copy /usr/share/applications/Gigolo to /home/user-name/.config/autostart
Note: If you don't have an autostart folder cteate one:
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Second: Once you access the remote share using the method described above in STEP 3, you can set this up to mount the remote share automatically:
In the right side panel of gigolo right click the remote share and select "Create Bookmark"
There you can give it a short bookmark name as well as other authentication information you want to pass to the server on boot. The versatility of this utility comes in when you enable the "Auto-Connect" option. This will do two things:
(1) If the server having the remote share is not up at the time you boot, the "Auto-Connect" option will probe the network at an interval specified by the "Bookmark Auto-Connect Interval" you set in STEP 2 and then mount the share.
(2) The other thing it will do is reconnect to the share if the connection to the server is interrupted for whatever reason.
Note: The Auto Mount will happen at login so there is no need to reboot to see if it works as advertised. Just logout and log in again.
STEP 5: ( OPTIONAL ) Mount Point
There is one downside to all this goodness however. At it's core it's still using a "gvfs-mount smb://" mechanism to mount the remote share. That means it will create a mount point in a hidden directory at this location with this type of path:
In Mint14 it gets a little more complicated. The mount point moves to something like this:/home/your_user_name/.gvfs/share_name on host_name
You can create a bookmark to the .gvfs or gvfs folder so that is shows up in the Open and Save boxes:/run/user/your-user-name/gvfs/smb-share:server=host_name,share=share_name
Run the following command:
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*** Right click the resulting ".gvfs" or "gvfs" bookmark > Rename and rename to LanShares for example. It should then be visible in your application as LanShares.
Ubuntu has changed the way services are started and when things are mounted and as a result it has introduced a number of bugs. As it turns out, gigolo can actually work around a couple of them.
BUG 1: fstab is executed before the network is up.
The traditional way of automounting a remote share is to add a line in fstab that will execute on boot. The problem is that because of the changes Ubuntu has made, fstab sometimes executes before the network is up. There used to be a parameter "_netdev" that one could add to the fstab expression but that no longer reliably works. The "Auto-Connect" option in gigolo solves this problem by periodically probing the network and mounting when the share is available on the network.
BUG 2: Shutdown hangs when a remote share is mounted.
If you have a remote share mounted in the traditional manner, shutting down the system hangs because the network is shut down before the mountpoints are unmounted. Gigolo works in userspace. At shutdown the system will logoff the user first and will automatically unmount the remote share before passing to the root level shutdown sequence which shuts down the network.
UPDATE: As pointed out by member jan_goyvaerts below, when using LMDE XFCE:
Then, you may need to add the following lines to your ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list so that Thunar is used to open folders by gvfs-open: