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How to quickly send files between Linux computers with Transporter

There are many reasons why you’d want to send files between Linux computers. Perhaps you need to get some data from your desktop to your traveling laptop. Or, maybe you’ve got some configuration files to set up on multiple machines, and the list goes on.

For a while now, many Linux users have sent files back and forth through tools like SCP, Samba or even FTP. While these tools certainly get the job done, it’s not exactly a quick and easy process. That’s where Transport comes in: it’s a simple tool that, once installed on two Linux PCs, can send and receive files over a network.

Note: Transport only works over a local LAN. It’s not possible to use this tool to transfer files over the internet. If you need to send files over the internet, consider using SSH or something like Syncthing file sync, or even Dropbox.

Install Transport

The Transport application is built especially for Elementary OS, so if you use the operating system, you’ll find it in AppCenter and be able to install it with relative ease. However, you don’t need to be an Elementary fan to use this great app! As it turns out, it’s available as a Snap package, and the source code is also available too.

To get your copy of Transport working on Linux, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Shift + T or Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard and follow the detailed instructions below.

AppCenter

As mentioned before, the Transport file-sharing application is developed primarily for Elementary OS users, so the app is readily available on AppCenter. If you can’t find Transport by searching for “Transport,” do yourself a favor and check out the Transport AppCenter page for more information.

Snap package

The best way to use this app if you’re not a fan of Elementary is to download and install the Snap package from the Snap store. To do that, you must enable Snap support on your Linux operating system. Luckily, most modern Linux operating systems support Snapd and Snap packages at this point, so it shouldn’t be difficult.

To get Snaps working on your PC, head over to this tutorial. Alternatively, if you’re using a distribution that doesn’t support Snaps, try installing Ubuntu instead.

Once you’ve got Snapd running on your Linux PC, it can easily be downloaded with the snap install command.

sudo snap install transporter

Source code

Want to use Transporter but cannot install Snap packages? Try compiling the source code. To build the program, head over to GitHub, and install all of the dependencies listed on the developer’s page. Then, enter the following commands to get the app working.

git clone https://github.com/bleakgrey/Transporter.git
cd Transporter
meson build --prefix=/usr

cd build

sudo ninja install

com.github.bleakgrey.transporter

Use Transporter to send files

To start a transfer with Transporter, open up the app. This is done by opening up your application menu and searching for “Transporter”. The app can also be run by pressing Alt + F2 and typing “transporter” in the box.

Once the app is open on the sending machine, go to the computer that will be receiving the file, install the app and open it up. The app needs to be open on both devices (on the same network) for file transfers to work.

With the app open on both machines, it’s time to send a file. To send, find the “Send Files” button and click it with the mouse. You’ll then be taken to a transfer box. Feel free to drag in the files or folders you wish to send. Alternatively, click the box to browse for your data with the file browser window.

Upon uploading your files to Transport, the app will generate a unique transfer ID code. Take the code, copy it to your clipboard and send it to your friend. They should then be able to download the file through Transport.

Receiving files

To receive sent files over Transport, ensure the app is open on both computers. Once both are open, instruct the other person to initiate a file transfer through the app.

Assuming the file initiation is successful, a transfer code will be generated on the sender’s end. Instruct them to send you this code. Then, take the code and find the option in Transport that says “Receive Files” and click on it with the mouse.

After selecting the “Receive Files” button, a text box will appear. Enter the ID code into the box, and the transfer will instantly start. When the transfer is done, you’ll see the files in the “Downloads” folder on your Linux PC.

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