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How to use Ubuntu’s new media share feature

Ubuntu 19.10 recently came out, and it’s got some great features for Linux fans to get excited about. One of the best features that 19.10 offers users is it’s new “Media Share” feature. With it, Ubuntu users gain the ability to share any file or folder with little effort easily. In this guide, we’ll go over the new “Media Share” feature, how it works, and how to use it.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 19.10

Ubuntu’s new “Media Share” feature is only available on Ubuntu 19.10. So, you must upgrade your existing Ubuntu Linux installation to this new version, or accessing the new “Media Share” feature will not be possible.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 19.10 is an easy process, thanks to the Ubuntu update manager. To start the upgrade, launch “Software Updater” and allow it to refresh.

After refreshing your system, you will see a notification pop up. This notification will let you know that a new version of Ubuntu is out. Click the “Yes, Upgrade Now” button to start the upgrade.

Or, if you’re feeling brave, open up a terminal window and enter the following commands to upgrade to the newest Ubuntu instantly. Be sure to back up your data before continuing!

Note: don’t feel like going through the process of upgrading to Ubuntu 19.10? Download it from the Ubuntu website instead, and start fresh!

18.04 LTS

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
sudo sed -i 's/bionic/eoan/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
sudo reboot

19.04

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
sudo sed -i 's/disco/eoan/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
sudo reboot

Once your Ubuntu Linux PC is upgraded to 19.10, continue with the rest of the guide.

Enable the Media Sharing feature in 19.10

The “Media Sharing” feature is tucked away in the Gnome settings panel, on the Ubuntu desktop. To enable it, press the Win key on the keyboard to open up the Gnome search box.

Once the Gnome search box is open, type in “Settings,” and launch the app with the “settings” label on it. Then, look to the right-hand side of the settings app for “Sharing” and click on it to access the “Sharing” settings.

Note: this feature is only accessible in the Gnome Shell desktop. If you are using alternative desktop environments, please follow this guide here to learn how to gain access to Gnome on Ubuntu.

Inside of the “Sharing” area in Settings, locate the “Media Sharing” option. Change the “Off” to “On” to enable the feature.

When you’ve enabled the “Media Sharing”  feature on Ubuntu, find the “Computer Name” box, and change it. Keep in mind that this name is how other computers will see you on the network.

Create shares on Ubuntu 19.10

By default, the “Media Sharing” feature in Ubuntu will give others on the network access to “Video, Music, and Pictures” folders. However, it is also possible to create custom shares. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how.

Step 1: Open up Settings by searching for it in the search box. Then, click on “Sharing” to access the sharing section.

Step 2: Inside of the “Sharing” section of settings, find “Media Sharing” in the list and click on it to bring up the “Media Sharing” pop-up.

Step 3: In the “Media Sharing” pop-up window, you’ll see three shared folders there by default. These folders are “Music, Videos, and Pictures.” Scroll down past them, look for the + sign, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 4: Upon clicking on the + sign, the “Choose a Folder” window will pop up on the screen. Using the “Choose a Folder” window, locate the folder you’d like to share with to the network and click “Open.”

After clicking the “Open” button, Ubuntu will add the new folder to the “Media Sharing” list, and give your network access to it. Feel free to repeat this process to share as many folders as you like; there is no limit.

Deleting shares

Need to delete a shared folder added to “Media Sharing” on your Ubuntu Linux PC? Here’s how. First, open up “Settings,” and access the “Sharing” section.

Once in the “Sharing” section, click on “Media Sharing” to bring up the list of shares on your computer. Then, scroll down past the default “Music, Videos, and Pictures” shares to the one you’d like to remove. Click the “X” button next to the share to delete it instantly.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to remove shares forever, just temporarily, you can disable it by shutting off shares. To do that, click the slider in “Media Shares” into the off position. It will instantly disable all media sharing on your Ubuntu PC to the network.

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