Accessing DFS

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Sometimes you will need to access DFS (Distributed File System) to install software or upload files to a class's "dropbox".

You can connect to Rose-Hulman DFS through Samba (smb). (As of July 10, 2020, sftp no longer works, so you will have to use Samba.)

To access the Rose-Hulman DFS, you will need to be on campus. If you are off campus, you will need to use the GlobalProtect VPN. Please see Accessing the Off-Campus VPN for more details.


You will need to have smbclient installed in your repo's packages.

Through the terminal

We will be using the "smbclient" utility to download from the DFS server. This is a command line utility.

Open a terminal and type the following (substitute ROSE-USERNAME with your username):

smbclient // -U

then press ENTER.

Note the forward slashes instead of the backslashes. If you want to use backslashes in the terminal, note that a single backslash (\) is an escape character. So, to type one backslash (which you can also do), type \\. To type two backslashes, type \\\\.

Then type in your password and press ENTER.

Wait up to 2 minutes for the smb: \> prompt to appear. If it doesn't show up within 2 minutes, try logging out and logging back in again. It may take a few tries (probably because the SMB share doesn't do a good job of responding to connections).

Otherwise, try one of the fixes listed here: #smb:_.5C.3E_prompt_still_not_showing_up.

Once you're connected, you can type help and get a list of commands to use.

For example, you can use "cd" to move around the virtual file system, "ls" to see what files are available in the current directory, "pwd" to see which directory you're in, and "get" to download a file from the Samba server.

Source: Ubuntu Samba Client Guide

Through a GUI


Initial setup

Open the Dolphin file browser.

On the left hand side, find the "Networks" entry (should have a globe icon). Single click on it. In the list of network options in the middle, double click on "Add Network Folder".

Click Microsoft(R) Windows(R) network drive, then click "Next >".

In the text boxes that show up, type the following:

Name: [any name you want, e.g. Rose-Hulman DFS]. This cannot be blank because KDE expects this if you want to save the connection in your file browser for easy access later.


Folder: dfs

Check "Create an icon for this remote folder" if you want easy access to it later.

Click "Save & Connect".

Logging in

Username should be (substitute ROSE-USERNAME for your actual username).

Leave the domain at WORKGROUP (you don't need to change this).

Password is your Rose network password.

Click Connect.

After a few seconds, inside of Dolphin, you should see a list of folders, including Software.

You can now copy and paste files like you would on a normal file browser.


Make sure you are on the latest stable version of smbclient first. Check your distro's package repos and cross-reference that with the version from [1] (do not worry about -rc versions).

If your distro does not have the latest version in their package repos, download and use the executable from here: [2]. (In the link, don't look for rc releases, just the samba-... ones)

Testparm Error

If you get a message saying /usr/bin/smbclient: Can't load /etc/samba/smb.conf - run testparm to debug it, run sudo touch /etc/samba/smb.conf in a terminal to create an empty SMB configuration. Usually this is not needed, but sometimes smbclient is finicky.

Then try connecting to DFS with smbclient again.

No password prompt comes up

Fix 1

Make sure to include -U in your smbclient command.

Fix 2

Try typing in:

  • /usr/bin/smbclient // -U ROSE-HULMAN\\[Your RHIT network user name] (or ROSE-HULMAN/[Your RHIT network user name])

This is because ROSE-HULMAN is the "domain" on Windows computers that connects to the internal network.

smb: \> prompt still not showing up

What you can also do is try without the /dfs.

Open a terminal and type the following (substitute ROSE-USERNAME with your username):

smbclient // -U

then press ENTER.

Once you see smb: \>, you can now try to get to the dfs folder using cd dfs. Then, if you type ls, a bunch of folders (including Software) should show up.

If that doesn't work, your connection to the campus network may be unreliable. Disconnect and reconnect from the VPN or eduroam if on campus.

NT_STATUS_CONNECTION_RESET when downloading files

Example error message:

smb: \Software\Linux_MacOSX_Apps\Maple\Maple 2019\> getting file \Software\Linux_MacOSX_Apps\Maple\Maple 2019\ of size 1875465688 as /tmp/ SMBecho failed (NT_STATUS_CONNECTION_RESET). The connection is disconnected now

Your VPN or eduroam connection is unreliable. Make sure you're using openconnect as root in a terminal and not in KDE or GNOME's "Networks" panel (or anything else that uses NetworkManager).

I am not aware of other fixes. As far as I know, you can also access the DFS via the web after logging in at This option might have been removed around March 2020 though...

See also

In case you have any issues, please refer to the following pages. This tutorial may be updated depending on user demand.

SMB - ArchWiki (relevant sections: 2, 2.5 for specific desktop environment integration e.g. Gnome/KDE/XFCE)