File sharing not working - suggestions?

I’ve been trying to set up file sharing for a couple of hours and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. It’s something I did in the distant past, with ancient computers and I know it wasn’t difficult.

I have a 2015 iMac running Catalina, as well as two 2015 Macbook Airs running High Sierra. I have tried all possible combinations, any of the computers sharing with any of the others, in both directions (in case the OS was an issue), to no avail. Maybe there’s something very simple that is escaping me, but I do not know what it is.

I went to setting>sharing>file sharing and selected a folder to share (I have tried both with the default public folder and with one created just for this purpose). I have enabled samba and turned off AFP. Guests are allowed.
If I type in the address of the server (xxx.local or smb://internal IP address) I do get the window asking me to connect, but with guest I get “a permission denied, talk to the admin” type of message and with a registered user (I have added a user and assigned a password from the master computer) just the “shaky” error response.

What am I doing wrong? Same wi-fi. Firewall on (both the Mac’s and Intego), but I do not see anything blocked, local incoming connections are allowed. Jump desktop works from inside and outside the network, so if that is accepted why should a simple, local, mac-to-mac connection be refused?

Can you help me solve this mystery?


I’ll answer my own question, for the benefit of anybody else finding themselves in this predicament: the user and password I had created were very much valid. The mistake I have made was not typing the username (the one with no spaces), but rather the user (with spaces). Or at least I think that’s what they are called.

Bottom line: create a user, assign them a password and from the guest computer log into the server with the username without spaces.

One addition: if you are the sole user of both computers (server and guest - the computer with which you log into the server, not sure what the correct term is, you do not even need to create an extra user, you can just log into the server from the guest with the server’s username and password. That seems to preempt headaches concerning permissions etc.

My user case is simply offloading the laptops and moving larger files I need access to, but that I do not need to carry around with me at all times onto the server. I access it with file sharing on the local network and with Jump Desktop for the rare occasion that I need access to said large files when on the road.

I am aware that all of this is very basic, but since it took me a while to figure out, I thought I’d spell it out clearly for other souls in need.


No, it just goes to show how incredibly picky this stuff can be and that sometimes nothing works until you get every last detail right… :slightly_smiling_face: