I did get this working in the end. Basically, my /etc/samba/smb.conf was wrong and needed fiddling with; gnome even provides a GUI for doing this ("Shared Folders"). Setting the domain and the WINS server and everything works.

Fusesmb is great; I have now symlinked in the machines that I want. It only seems to understand paths like //CAMPUS/machine_name/share which is a bit of a pain; paths like //internal/web which work within CS don’t work here. I had to find the machine names by ls-lR’ing through the entirety of SMB space. It’s also very slow, so listing directories with a symlink to an SMB location can be a pain.

But, given all of this, it’s still great. Having a mount at the file system level rather than in the GUI works well for me. I have command line access, it works in Emacs, I can just forget about it and go about my work.

I’ve also tried encfs, which is encrypted fuse mounted filesystem backed by a "real" file system. Also, straightforward and works like a dream. One satisfied customer.

Originally published on my old blog site.