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How to share folders across your network from Fedora Linux

Fedora Linux makes it incredibly easy to share your Public folder, without having to install any third-party software or touch the command line.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Min Shin
Woman using laptop in an office
Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Fedora Linux has become one of my go-to Linux distribution suggestions for users of all types and skill levels. Not only is it very user-friendly, but it's also reliable, secure, and offers a rather elegant desktop. 

One thing I appreciate about Fedora is how easy it makes sharing folders across a network. This comes in very handy whether you're on a company or home network, so you can share files with co-workers or family members, without having to email them or set up an FTP server on your network. 

Also: The best Linux laptops 

Now, the work that went into simplifying this process doesn't just come by way of the Fedora team but also thanks to those who've worked hard on making the GNOME desktop as user-friendly and rock-solid as it is. In the end, what matters is that sharing files and folders to those on your network couldn't be any easier.

Let me show you how it's done.

How to enable the sharing of your Public folder 

What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is a running instance of Fedora. I suggest you use an up-to-date version (such as the upcoming release of Fedora 38). 

Also: 8 things you can do with Linux that you can't do with MacOS

That's all you need. Let's do our best Jean Luc Picard and make it so.

1. Log into Fedora and open the file manager

The first thing is to log in to your Fedora desktop and open the file manager app (called Files).

2. Navigate to the Public folder

In your home directory, you'll see a folder named Public. Double-click that folder and you should see a blue bar across the top with a Sharing Settings button. Click that button.

The Public folder shown in the Files app on Fedora Linux.

This blue bar and button only appears in the Public folder.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Enable Sharing

The next thing to do is enable sharing. You'll see an ON/OFF toggle at the top right corner. Click to enable Sharing.

The GNOME Sharing section of the Settings window.

Make sure to change the device name to suit your needs.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Change your device name

Next, you'll want to change the name of the device. By default, the name will be a long string of characters (which is the hostname of your computer). 

Also: The best Linux distros for beginners

Click the pencil icon associated with that name, type the new name for the device, and hit Enter on your keyboard.

5. Enable File Sharing

Click the File Sharing entry and, in the resulting popup, click the ON/OFF slider until it's in the ON position. Next, enable Require Password and type a password that will be used to access the shared folder. Finally, click the ON/OFF slider for your chosen network until it's in the ON position.

The GNOME File Sharing configuration popup.

You will want to create a strong and unique password for the Public folder.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Close the File Sharing popup and then close the Settings app.

Also: The most important reason you should be using Linux at home 

You should now be able to see the Fedora Public folder on your network. If you don't, you might have to log out of Fedora and log back in (especially if you changed the device name). Click the entry and you'll be prompted for the password you created during the share setup.

Shared folders on my home network.

Fedora's Public folder is easy to discern.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

That is all there is to enabling file sharing on Fedora Linux. This might be the easiest, most reliable network share you've ever used.

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