How to Fix ‘Failed to Retrieve Share List from Server’ in Ubuntu 12.04 / 11.10 when File Sharing with Windows 40


Recently, many have told me that they followed my tutorials on file sharing between Windows and Ubuntu and they still couldn’t get Ubuntu to access Windows shares. Even though they followed the tutorial to the letter, they still got ‘Failed to retrieve share list from server’ every time. This brief tutorial will show you how to fix the issue when you come across it in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin).

To read our recent tutorial on file sharing between Windows and Ubuntu, click here.

Objectives:

  • Fix the error ‘failed to retrieve share list from server’ in Ubuntu 12.04 / 11.10
  • Enjoy!

To get started, press Ctrl – Alt – T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below to open samba configuration file.

sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

 

samba_config_precise

 

Finally, scroll down a bit in the file and find :  WORKGROUP = Workgroup_Name.   Right below that, type the line shown below and save the file.

name resolve order = bcast host

 

samba_config_precise_1

 

Restart your computer and try again. I hope it works for you.

 

Enjoy!


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40 thoughts on “How to Fix ‘Failed to Retrieve Share List from Server’ in Ubuntu 12.04 / 11.10 when File Sharing with Windows

  • echanda

    Thank you thank you thank you! This tutorial and the one on setting up Windows shares in Linux Mint totally got my networking, umm, working. I was tearing my hair out slogging through dry, wordy Wikis and ridiculous”[SOLVED]” forum postings with enough lines of code to launch the space shuttle, and getting NOWHERE. I was ready to give up on Linux as crowdsourced chaos. THIS is what Linux tutorials should be like! Who knew a Liberian Geek could do it better than all those American geeks out there? Gotta love the connected world! BTW I’m making a donation by PAYPAL ASAP to support your awesome work!
    Thanx!!

  • Quebecman

    A million trillion thanks !!! Worked great for LinuxMint 14. Average speeds of 5 MB/s plus, what a relief! Now I can access my NAS drive better.

  • MrTeatime

    I got that same error but found an easier solution (I think).
    I logged in to the router as admin, refreshed “attached devices” and while logged in tried to access the network share.

    After doing it that way once, the problem was gone forever.
    How that worked? No idea.

  • holy cow

    Wow. Over a year I tried and given up many times.
    First instruction to allow my Ubuntu and Linux Mint 12 to connect to my Windows XP Pro compaq notebook.
    Didn’t even need to reboot my Linux Mint workstation after the smb.conf edit.
    Changed the workgroup name on XP and rebooted and voila, the external 3tb usb drive with shared folder shows up and can videos and all files play across the wifi lan.

    Kudos to you!

  • Nora

    Thankyou! After a lot of searching for a solution this enabled my Ubuntu system to access a USB drive attached to a Homehub V1. Genius!

  • Jason

    Thank you for the short tutorial. This did not work for me.
    The error shows up intermittently.

    Ubuntu 12.04LTS – up-to-date

  • TK

    IMHO, you should use gksudo (not sudo) with a GUI application like gedit … so you don’t risk to blow any configuration. (At least that’s what I repeatedly read in a lot of posts.)

  • Frank

    Thanks much. I spent hours of frustration yesterday trying to solve this glitch on a new install of Maya that runs in a VM.

    Today I was determined to crack the problem & had even got out my copy of O’Reilly’s Second Edition of “Using Samba”. Then I decided to do a quick web search & your post came up. I edited my smb.conf per your advice, restarted smbd & nmbd & all of a sudden I could browse all my network shares.

    Do you have any idea why this change to name resolve order works? I can only assume there are some defect(s) in the wins or lmhosts resolution processes that muck up everything. Previously I was using:
    name resolve order = wins lmhosts hosts bcast

    If wins &/or lmhosts simply failed, you’d think samba would just fall back on hosts or bcast & still work.

    Again, my thanks.

  • William

    Excellent, I had the same issue, changed smb.conf according to the site and restarted samba with sudo stop smbd and sudo start smbd and now I can access my shares!

    Thanks!

  • Ray W

    So simple. Why does any update screw samba when it installs properly. More to the point every body who use Samba should have this simple line in the con-fig file

    Well Done

  • Hana Bee

    Finally! After days of trying to gain access – it works. Thank you! Now if I can just figure out why it wants me to enter a password when no password has been set for this share…

  • Joypiper

    Yes, this worked! Once again, LiberianGeek has rescued me from my Linux/Windows interfacing troubles. I have finally made a donation/contribution to those who have saved me countless hours of frustration. “A worker is worthy of his wage.” Thanks!

  • Roderick Young

    This worked great for me. I went to the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, and found that there was already a line for name resolve order, but it was commented out by default:

    ; name resolve order = lmhosts host wins bcast

    I changed it to what you recommended, but did not need to restart the whole system, just the services

    sudo service nmbd restart
    sudo service smbd restart

  • Will R.

    Thanks, Just a newb here trying out linux. Been at it for about 2 weeks wrestling with different issues like the one above, ( Thanks, it worked like a charm ), to the intricacies of making wireless with a broadcom chips work.
    Your help is greately appreciated, thanks.

  • jms

    Thank you very much. That’s an excellent workaround!!! My Linux machine used to be able to browse to resources for quite sometime. Then one day it simply quits and threw the error ‘Failed to Retrieve Share List from Server’ Your remedy works great! keep it up ;)

  • Cantor

    A million THANKS, Richard!!! After a recent update to Mint 13 Mate, I could no longer connect to my MS XP shares. I followed your instructions exactly, and my problem was solved. And it was such an easy easy process! Why can’t every Linux solution be so simple? Thanks so very much!