SMBClient Usage: Key Insights and Practical Examples


SMBClient is a command-line application that uses Microsoft’s Server Message Block (SMB) protocol for file and printer sharing over a network. In Linux and Unix systems, it provides access to Windows network resources, facilitating file sharing between different operating systems.

Features and Usage of SMBClient

Key Features:
  • File Sharing: SMBClient allows users to view, create, and modify files and directories on Windows-based servers.
  • Printer Sharing: Access and printing operations for shared printers on the network.
  • Multi-Platform Support: SMBClient operates on various operating systems like Linux and Unix.
  • Command Line Interface: Offers easy usage through the command line, without needing a graphical user interface.

Installation and Configuration:

  1. Installation: SMBClient is commonly found in standard repositories of Linux distributions and can be easily installed via package managers.
  2. Configuration: The smb.conf file can be edited to customize the behavior of SMBClient.

Usage Scenarios:

  • File Transfers: SMBClient can be used for quick and secure file transfers over the network.
  • Remote Printer Access: Ideal for using network printers in office environments.
  • Cross-Platform File Sharing: Simplifies file sharing between Windows and Linux/Unix systems.
  • Don’t forget to check out our article written for the smbmap tool. 😉

SMBClient Usage Examples

Here are some basic operations that can be performed with SMBClient and how to do them:

Overview of Smbclient.
  • Command: --help
  • Description: Learn all necessary commands here.
    • Example Usage: smbclient --help
  └─$ smbclient --help
  Usage: smbclient [OPTIONS] service <password>
    -M, --message=HOST                           Send message
    -I, --ip-address=IP                          Use this IP to connect to
    -E, --stderr                                 Write messages to stderr instead of stdout
    -L, --list=HOST                              Get a list of shares available on a host
    -T, --tar=<c|x>IXFvgbNan                     Command line tar
    -D, --directory=DIR                          Start from directory
    -c, --command=STRING                         Execute semicolon separated commands
    -b, --send-buffer=BYTES                      Changes the transmit/send buffer
    -t, --timeout=SECONDS                        Changes the per-operation timeout
    -p, --port=PORT                              Port to connect to
    -g, --grepable                               Produce grepable output
    -q, --quiet                                  Suppress help message
    -B, --browse                                 Browse SMB servers using DNS
  Help options:
    -?, --help                                   Show this help message
        --usage                                  Display brief usage message
  Common Samba options:
    -d, --debuglevel=DEBUGLEVEL                  Set debug level
        --debug-stdout                           Send debug output to standard output
    -s, --configfile=CONFIGFILE                  Use alternative configuration file
        --option=name=value                      Set smb.conf option from command line
    -l, --log-basename=LOGFILEBASE               Basename for log/debug files
        --leak-report                            enable talloc leak reporting on exit
        --leak-report-full                       enable full talloc leak reporting on exit
  Connection options:
    -R, --name-resolve=NAME-RESOLVE-ORDER        Use these name resolution services only
    -O, --socket-options=SOCKETOPTIONS           socket options to use
    -m, --max-protocol=MAXPROTOCOL               Set max protocol level
    -n, --netbiosname=NETBIOSNAME                Primary netbios name
        --netbios-scope=SCOPE                    Use this Netbios scope
    -W, --workgroup=WORKGROUP                    Set the workgroup name
        --realm=REALM                            Set the realm name
  Credential options:
    -U, --user=[DOMAIN/]USERNAME[%PASSWORD]      Set the network username
    -N, --no-pass                                Don't ask for a password
        --password=STRING                        Password
        --pw-nt-hash                             The supplied password is the NT hash
    -A, --authentication-file=FILE               Get the credentials from a file
    -P, --machine-pass                           Use stored machine account password
        --simple-bind-dn=DN                      DN to use for a simple bind
        --use-kerberos=desired|required|off      Use Kerberos authentication
        --use-krb5-ccache=CCACHE                 Credentials cache location for Kerberos
        --use-winbind-ccache                     Use the winbind ccache for authentication
        --client-protection=sign|encrypt|off     Configure used protection for client connections
  Deprecated legacy options:
    -k, --kerberos                               DEPRECATED: Migrate to --use-kerberos
  Version options:
    -V, --version                                Print version

1. Connecting to a Server and Listing Files:

  • Command: smbclient //server/directory
  • Description: This command connects to a specified directory on a server using a user name.
  • Example Usage: smbclient // -U deniz
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2. File Copying (From Server to Local System):
  • Command: get filename
  • Description: After connecting to the server, use the get command to copy a file from the server to the local system.
  • Example Usage: After connecting, get report.docx
3. Uploading Files (From Local System to Server):
  • Command: put localfilename
  • Description: The put command is used to upload a file from the local system to the server.
  • Example Usage: After connecting, put presentation.pptx
4. Creating a New Directory on the Server:
  • Command: mkdir newdirectory
  • Description: The mkdir command is used to create a new directory on the server.
  • Example Usage: After connecting, mkdir project_files
5. Deleting Files or Directories:
  • Command: del filename or rmdir directoryname
  • Description: Use del to delete files and rmdir to delete directories.
  • Example Usage: On the server, del old_report.docx or rmdir old_data
6. Connecting to a Printer and Printing a File:
  • Command: smbclient //server/printer -c 'print filename'
  • Description: This command connects to a printer on the network and prints a specified file.
  • Example Usage: smbclient // -c 'print announcement.docx'
7. SMB Enumeration:
  • Command: enum4linux -a targetip
  • Description: The Enum4linux tool gathers detailed information about the target’s SMB service.
  • Example Usage: During a Pentesting, enum4linux -a <ip address> can reveal users, shares, and more on the target system.

Important Notes

  • Users should consider network security policies and permissions before using SMBClient.
  • Correct installation and configuration of SMBClient are essential for the commands to work.
  • It’s important to secure passwords and sensitive information during operations.

These examples cover the basic usage scenarios of SMBClient and offer a starting point for users on how to access and interact with Windows network resources from Linux or Unix systems.

Security and Performance

Security Measures:
  • Encryption: The SMB protocol provides encryption during data transfer.
  • Authentication: Secure access with a username and password.
Performance Optimization:
  • Network Settings: The performance of SMBClient can vary depending on network configuration and bandwidth.


SMBClient is a powerful tool for efficiently sharing files and printers between different operating systems. Its easy installation and usage make it valuable especially for system administrators and network professionals. Proper configuration and network settings are important for enhancing security and performance. This tool is a fundamental component in modern work and educational environments for the efficient use of resources.

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