I want to create a shared folder under Windows (actually, Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7) which can be mounted from a linux system without prompting for a username/password. But before attempting this, I first wanted to establish that this works between two Windows 7 machines.
So, on machine A (The server that will hold the public share), I created a folder and set its permissions such that Everyone has read/write access. Then I visited Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Advanced Sharing Settings and then selected "Turn off password protected sharing". Then, on machine B (The client that wants to access the public share with no username/password prompt), I tried to "map network driver" and I was immediately prompted by a password prompt.
Some search on google suggested changing "Acconts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only" to "Disabled". Tried that, no luck, still getting username/password prompt.
After hours of doing experiments, I have found one way to make this happen, but I am not really very fond of it... I first create a new user (shareuser) and give it a password (sharepass). Then I open Group Policy Editor and set "Deny log on locally" to "A\shareuser". Then, I create a folder on A and share it so that shareuser has Read access to it. This way, shareuser cannot login to A, but can access the shared folder. And, if someone discovers the shareuser/sharepass through network sniffing, they can just access the shared folder, but can't logon to A.
The same thing can be achieved by enabling the Guest user and then going to Group Policy Editor and deleting the "Guest" from the "Deny access to this computer from the network" setting. Again, Guest can mount the public share, but logging in to A as Guest won't be possible, because Guest is already not allowed to log in by default.
So my question would be, how can I create a network share that is truly public, so that it can be mounted from a linux machine without requiring a password? Sorry for the long question, but I wanted to explain the reason for really needing this...