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This how-to is intended to explain how a non-privileged user can mount a NAS share on our Helvetios' front-end using the SMB / CIFS protocols.

The explanation are given for the Helvetios cluster, as this is, at the moment, the only cluster where the necessary software is installed.
Please contact us at if you would need to use it in the other clusters.

Access to the cluster's front-end



Preparing the environment

The tools used require a running dbus session, the recommended method is to start a shell with a dedicated session:

dbus-run-session -- bash

The session above needs to be running for the whole duration of any file transfers. For file operations lasting for longer times you can start the above inside a screen session.
It allows you to quit your session without killing the mount.

  • Open a screen session:

    screen -R [ANY_NAME]


    screen -R john_session
  • From your screen session, start the dbus  session as above:

    dbus-run-session -- bash

Mounting your share


Instead of typing the long command, such as smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME], you can use a variable.


(warning) Without the backslash before the semicolon  " ; "

These are all case insensitive.

To mount your NAS share:

gio mount smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME]


gio mount smb://intranet\;

Or with the variable:

gio mount $MYSHARE

The information on your share can be found here  but these pages are not updated.

The NAS team is working to have a place where all these information will be available.

The other solution is to use the command-line:


smbclient -W INTRANET -U john -L

Your will get a couple of share names. Try to find the appropriate one... .


Basic gio commands

To get a list of files

gio list smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME]

To list files in a tree mode

gio tree smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME]

To copy files

  • From the share:

    gio copy smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME] [DESTINATION_PATH] 


    gio copy smb://intranet\;\ doc.txt /scratch/john/

    In this example, the file to copy has a space in its name. That's why the space has to be backslashed (my\ doc.txt).

  • To the share:

    gio copy [YOUR_FILE] smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME]/

To unmount your share

gio mount -u smb://intranet\;[USERNAME]@[NAS_SERVER]/[SHARE_NAME] 

Or, if you are using screen, simply quit the session:

exit (twice)


Direct access to your share

The gio mount command actually mounts your share to /run/user/[USERID]/gvfs/[MOUNT_DATA_DIR] .



Part of this path can be found thanks to the $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR variable:



But the preferred method is to use the gio's sub-commands instead.


Basic screen usage

To detach from your screen session:

CTRL-a d

To attach to you screen session:

screen -r [YOUR_SCREEN_NAME]


screen -r john_session

To exit from your screen session:

exit (twice if you run the "dbus-run-session -- bash" command)

To get help (from screen session):

CTRL-a ?