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How To Access an External Hard Drive Plugged into Your Router on Ubuntu

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In this article, we will guide you through the process of accessing an external hard drive that is connected to your router on an Ubuntu operating system. This can be useful for various purposes such as sharing files across your home network or setting up a home media server.

Quick Answer

To access an external hard drive plugged into your router on Ubuntu, you can use the SMB protocol. Open a File Browser window, type "smb://<router’s IP address>" in the location bar, and press Enter. This will allow you to view and access the files on the external hard drive.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have an external hard drive connected to your router and that it is properly configured to be accessible over the network. The specific steps for this may vary depending on your router model, so refer to your router’s documentation if necessary.

Finding Your Router’s IP Address

The first step is to find your router’s IP address. This is typically 192.168.1.1, but it may be different depending on your network configuration. To find your router’s IP address on Ubuntu, you can use the ifconfig command in the terminal. This command displays network interface information.

Open a terminal window and type the following command:

ifconfig

In the output, look for the “inet addr” under the “eth0” or “wlan0” section. This is your router’s IP address.

Accessing the External Hard Drive

Next, we will use the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol to access the external hard drive over the network. SMB is a network protocol used for sharing access to files, printers, and other resources on a network.

Open a File Browser (Nautilus) window, and press Ctrl+L to open the location bar. In the location bar, type the following, replacing <router's IP address> with your router’s IP address:

smb://<router's IP address>

For example, if your router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1, you would type:

smb://192.168.1.1

Press Enter, and you should now see the files on the external hard drive.

Alternative Methods

If the above method does not work, you can try using the CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol or the smbfs package.

Using CIFS

CIFS is a version of SMB that is used by Windows and other systems. To use CIFS, you first need to install the cifs-utils package. Open a terminal window and type the following command:

sudo apt-get install cifs-utils

This command installs the cifs-utils package. The sudo command is used to run the command with root privileges, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is the command to install a package.

Next, you need to add a line to the /etc/fstab file to mount the drive. Open the file in a text editor with root privileges:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Add the following line to the end of the file, replacing <router's IP address> with your router’s IP address:

//<router's IP address>/USB_Storage /media/public cifs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8 0 0

This line mounts the external hard drive at the location /media/public. The guest option allows the drive to be accessed without a username or password, uid=1000 sets the user ID to the default Ubuntu user, and iocharset=utf8 specifies the character set to use.

Using smbfs

The smbfs package is another option for accessing the external hard drive. To install smbfs, open a terminal window and type the following command:

sudo aptitude install smbfs

This command installs the smbfs package. The aptitude command is another package handling utility in Ubuntu.

Next, create a directory to mount the external hard drive:

sudo mkdir /media/public

This command creates a directory at /media/public. The mkdir command is used to create directories.

Then, add a line to the /etc/fstab file to mount the drive:

//<router's IP address>/USB_Storage /media/public smbfs guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8 0 0

This line is similar to the one used for CIFS, but uses smbfs instead of cifs.

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered how to access an external hard drive connected to your router on Ubuntu. We have discussed how to find your router’s IP address, how to access the drive using SMB, and alternative methods using CIFS and smbfs. We hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any questions or run into any issues, feel free to leave a comment below.

Can I access an external hard drive connected to my router on Ubuntu?

Yes, you can access an external hard drive connected to your router on Ubuntu. This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

What do I need to access the external hard drive on my router?

To access the external hard drive on your router, you need an Ubuntu operating system, a router with a connected external hard drive, and proper network configuration.

How do I find my router’s IP address on Ubuntu?

To find your router’s IP address on Ubuntu, open a terminal window and use the ifconfig command. Look for the "inet addr" under the "eth0" or "wlan0" section to find your router’s IP address.

Can I access the external hard drive using a different protocol?

Yes, if the SMB protocol does not work, you can try using the CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol or the smbfs package. The article provides instructions on how to use these alternative methods.

Do I need to install any additional packages to access the external hard drive?

Depending on the protocol you use, you may need to install additional packages. For SMB, no additional packages are required. However, for CIFS, you need to install the cifs-utils package, and for smbfs, you need to install the smbfs package. The article provides instructions on how to install these packages.

Can I access the external hard drive without a username or password?

Yes, you can access the external hard drive without a username or password by using the "guest" option in the mount command. The article provides the necessary configurations for both SMB and CIFS methods.

What should I do if I encounter any issues or have further questions?

If you encounter any issues or have further questions, feel free to leave a comment below the article. The author or other readers can help you troubleshoot and provide assistance.

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