Comparing tools for an easy data exchange

If you want to exchange files over the local network, you do not necessarily have to set up a file server such as Samba. A number of handy tools let you drag and drop to send files.

Transferring files from one computer to another usually requires the installation of some kind of server. Samba (or a network share, in Windows speak) is the classic approach to doing this. You can also use SSH to move files from one computer to another quite easily. But if you don’t want to install and set up a server, the only option is to use a USB stick since very few desktop environments integrate tools for easy data transfer.

As an alternative to this, there are a number of simply designed programs that transfer files and folders over the local network at the push of a button without requiring an Internet connection. And the system does not rely on background services or cloud servers such as commercial services like Dropbox or Google Drive for this. Once installed on the desired computers, the programs automatically find each other in the network. Sending data is then a matter of a few mouse clicks. I will look at the current crop of candidates for this task.


Warpinator [1] comes from Linux Mint’s rich repertoire of standalone developments but can also be installed on other distributions. Linux Mint automatically integrates the program into its default installation. Arch Linux and Manjaro have the application in their regular package sources. On other systems, the easiest way to install Warpinator is as a Flatpak, but this involves numerous dependencies [2]. Optionally, the project’s GitHub page describes how to install from the source code [3].


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