I set up a share like this:

    security = user
    map to guest = Bad Password
    usershare allow guests = yes

    comment = VirtualBox Virtual Machines
    path = /home/neil/VirtualBox/HardDisks
    guest ok = yes
    read only = yes

And when I access the share as myself, and type in my password, it works fine:

$ smbclient //neil-ubuntu/vms -U neil
Enter neil's password: 
Domain=[SHUTTERSTOCK] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.0]
smb: \>

But when I access it as guest, it doesn't work:

$ smbclient //neil-ubuntu/vms -U guest
Enter guest's password: 
Domain=[SHUTTERSTOCK] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.0]
tree connect failed: NT_STATUS_BAD_NETWORK_NAME

Regardless of what password I type in.

Does anyone know why?

Also, why does smbclient print such useless error messages?

4 Answers 4


I recall a problem like this. I think it was caused by a directory permission somewhere in the path missing read. Check the directory perms are 755 for the path.

This error is also returned if the path does not exist.

  • You're right, that was the problem in my case. If you're getting the same useless error message as me, though, it could be some other problem as well.
    – Neil
    Apr 30, 2010 at 16:56
  • 9
    another possible reason: the share definition points to a non-existent directory. Apr 10, 2013 at 18:49
  • @FelixSchwarz: Cheers, that's one to remember.
    – user9517
    Apr 10, 2013 at 18:53
  • In my case, I triggered this error through poor use of comments in the smb.conf file. I've since learned the hard way that comments need to be on a separate line. When configuring the folder for sharing, I added what I thought were helpful comments inline with many of the fields. Unfortunately they were not interpreted as comments but as part of the value...
    – Jet Blue
    May 21, 2020 at 5:11

I'll just chime in here with a different problem, but same error message. If you're using Samba < 3.2, you cannot connect to Windows Server 2008 AD servers. This includes the version of Samba included in CentOS (and presumably RHEL) 5, currently Samba 3.0.23. As of August 2011, the current version of Samba is 3.6.

I used the Samba repositories for CentOS 5 hosted by Sernet at http://www.enterprisesamba.org/index.php?id=125 to install Samba 3.4 and connect to a Win 2008 server. Don't forget to install/update winbind (yum install samba3-winbind after you add the repository) and you may need to update /etc/krb5.conf (I just moved it to a /etc/krb5.conf.bak and things work fine).

I also received Got NTLMSSP neg_flags=0x62898215 frequently in the smbclient logs.


try #sudo smbpasswd -a guest

just a shot there. If that doesn't work, try adding "guest' to the line "valid users" in /etc/samba/smb.conf like so,

valid users = user1, guest
  • smbclient // -c 'cd \mnt\termux7\storage\emulated\0;ls'
    – CS QGB
    Sep 15, 2022 at 11:54

At the risk of raking up an old topic, the "permissions" comment is almost right. I was going mad checking things, everything looked right and it still wouldn't work.

The obvious answer : I had SElinux turned on and denying any access to the (non standard) location I was trying to share.

setenforce 0

And it suddenly works. Of course, now I will turn it back on and fix the config properly. Honest....

  • 1
    I'm sure you did turn it back on, right after figuring out that the files need to be changed to samba_share_t using chcon -t samba_share_t /path/to/file or similar settings documented on the selinux wiki: selinuxproject.org/page/SambaRecipes Aug 17, 2020 at 20:12
  • don't forget the -R: full command chcon -R -t samba_share_t /path/to/file
    – bebbo
    Jan 16 at 17:20

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