Saturday, 13 February 2016 21:27

Samba Change Shares Real Time smb.conf

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Change Samba shares automatically with python

Only share the directories with samba that have specific video files

I share files to my media player with samba.  My problem was that my media player doesn't tell me if each directory is empty or actually has videos.

I wanted to stop having to scroll through directory after directory to see if any new videos have been downloaded.  The python script I wrote below, starts automatically on my samba server at boot, and checks a specific directory (and all of its sub-directories) every minute to see if they contain .mp4, .mkv, or .avi files, and if they don't, it compiles a list of all of those folders and if the list of directories have changed since the last run, the script will veto them in a new samba conf file and reload the samba configuration.

In the end, I now only see folders on my media server, that actually contain videos.

*I do have to reboot/turn on my media player in order to get the new shares to show up, meaning, if the media player is on while this script changes the shares, I do not see the updated shared directories until next time I turn on my media player.


Configure Samba

Login to your Samba server.  In order to configure shares in samba, you edit /etc/samba/smb.conf.  I don't want my python script to modify this file, so I will edit smb.conf to include another conf file that my python script will generate and modify.

Configure samba to include an additional conf file

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

 And add this at the end of the smb.conf file

include = /etc/samba/smb.conf.wdtv

Our new file that we will auto generate with the python script below, will be called smb.conf.wdtv

sampa auto find extensions script 06 


Create the python script

It currently looks for 3 different file extensions, but more can be added or omitted.  Upper/Lower case of the extensions is accounted for in the script as well (.mp3 will look for .mp3, .MP3, .mP3, etc)


On the samba server, create a directory for the script

mkdir scripts
cd scripts

create the script file


and copy&paste the code below, you will need to edit the variables mydirectory, mydirectorydepth, myextensions to match your specific needs.

    re-write samba config file "smb.conf.wdtv" to only share directories with video files
    must include the following line in the original /etc/smb.conf file

    include = /etc/samba/smb.conf.wdtv

    Algis Salys

import os
import time
import subprocess as sub

starttime = time.time();
old = [];
old2 = [];

def searchfolders(mynotvalidold = []):
    # Edit  these variables to match your specific configuration
    mydirectory = "/mnt/3TB/Video2/TV Shows/";
    mydirectorydepth = 5; #Number of "/" in the above path
    myextensions = ['.mp4', '.avi', '.mkv'];

    # new conf file to write, this file must be included in the smb.conf file with the line > include = /etc/samba/smb.conf.wdtv
    myfile = "/etc/samba/smb.conf.wdtv";
    myvalid = [];
    mynotvalid = [];
    mynotset = set();
    myset = set();
    found = "";

    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(mydirectory):
        for file in files:
            if file.lower().endswith(tuple(myextensions)):
                 found = 1;
                 if root not in myset:
        if not found:
            found = 0;

if cmp(mynotvalid, mynotvalidold): # if different since last check
        mynotvalidold = mynotvalid;
        # You may need to edit below to change the way you want samba to setup your share, this example shares the directory as a public share
        f = open(myfile,'w')
        f.write('# DO NOT EDIT - Autogenerated file\n')
        f.write('[TV Shows]\n')
        f.write('comment = USB 3TB Share /Video2 folder\n')
        f.write('path = ' + mydirectory + '\n')
        f.write('writeable = Yes\n')
        f.write('only guest = Yes\n')
        f.write('create mask = 0777\n')
        f.write('directory mask = 0777\n')
        f.write('browseable = Yes\n')
        f.write('public = yes\n')
        f.write('veto files = /')
        for word in mynotvalid:
            s = word.split('/')
        f.close()["sudo", "smbcontrol", "smbd", "reload-config"])
    return mynotvalidold;

# Run every 60 seconds
while True:
    old2 = searchfolders(old)
    old = old2
    time.sleep(60.0 - ((time.time() - starttime) % 60.0))



Make the script executable

chmod +x

Test run the script (you may need to run as sudo to write in /etc/samba directory)

sudo ./

Then to test if it worked, cat the /etc/samba/smb.conf.wdtv file to see the directories the script will omit

cat /etc/samba/smb.conf.wdtv

sampa auto find extensions script 01You can manually reload the samba config file for testing

sudo smbcontrol smbd reload-config


Run python script at boot

There are different ways to have the script start at boot, I chose to just include it in the /etc/rc.local file

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

and add this to the bottom of the file (but before the last line exit 0) of rc.local (change the script name/location if needed).  Also confirm rc.local is executable.  Note: rc.local runs eveything as root

(sleep 15;python /home/pi/scripts/

 sampa auto find extensions script 04

Reboot the samba server

sudo reboot


Log back in, and confim the script is running

ps aux | grep ""

 sampa auto find extensions script 05



You can see if the smb.conf files are being interpreted correctly using terparm.  It will use the default file /etc/samba/smb.conf


or specifiy the file to use

testparm <file-to-use>







Read 10187 times Last modified on Saturday, 05 March 2016 17:52
Algis Salys

Creator and owner of  Linux enthusiast, electronics tinkerer, and likes to spend time in the workshop building and creating new projects.