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How to send files securely on Linux

Do you have some sensitive files you want to send to a fellow Linux user over the internet or even your own local network? Don’t trust other file sharing apps on the Linux platform because they don’t protect your privacy or security? Check out Wormhole! It’s a unique command-line tool that allows for fast, secure file transfers.

Installing Wormhole on Linux

The Wormhole application is not set up by default, so you’ll need to install it. Thankfully, nearly every Linux operating system supports the Wormhole application and has it in their software sources. To get the app working on your PC, start by opening up a terminal window. You can open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.

Once the terminal window is open, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below that correspond with the Linux operating system you currently use.

Ubuntu

The Wormhole application is available for all Linux users in the primary software repository. To start the installation of the app on your system, enter the apt install command below.

sudo apt install magic-wormhole

Debian

Those that use Debian Linux will be able to get the Wormhole app installed via the “main” software repository. To get the app working, use the following apt-get install command in a terminal.

sudo apt install magic-wormhole

Arch Linux

Sadly, the Arch Linux software repositories do not house the Wormhole application, and users will not be able to install it with a simple pacman -S in a command terminal. Instead, if you’re an Arch Linux user, you must get the app working via the AUR.

To start the installation of Wormhole via the AUR, you must install two packages. These packages are “Git” and “Base-devel.” They are required for interacting with packages in the AUR. Install “Git” and “Base-devel” with the pacman -S command below.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

After setting up the two packages, use the git clone command to download the latest release of Trizen. Trizen is an AUR helper app. It will automatically collect all dependencies for Wormhole and set them up for you. It’s much easier than taking care of all of the dependencies by hand.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Once the Trizen code is downloaded to your Arch Linux PC, move into it with the CD command. Then use the makepkg command to install the code on your computer.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

With the Trizen application set up on your Linux PC, installing Wormhole is as simple as entering the command below.

trizen -S magic-wormhole

Fedora

Fedora Linux has Wormhole available for installation on 32 as well as Rawhide. To start the installation, use the following dnf install command.

sudo dnf install magic-wormhole

OpenSUSE

Wormhole is available via the Oss repo on all releases of OpenSUSE. To set it up on your system, use the zypper install command below.

sudo zypper install python3-magic-wormhole

Snap package

Wormhole is available as a Snap! To get it working, ensure you have the Snap runtime up and running. Then, enter the command below.

sudo snap install wormhole

Send files securely with Wormhole

Transferring files in Wormhole is very straightforward. To send files to a friend follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Note: for Wormhole to work, both the sending PC and the receiving PC must have Wormhole installed.

Step 1: Open up a terminal window on the computer that is sending the data. Then, write out wormhole send in the terminal.

wormhole send

Step 2: After writing out the wormhole send command, you’ll need to specify the exact location of the data you want to transfer. Write out the location of the file after wormhole send in the terminal.

Please note that the command below is an example. Be sure to change the example path below with the location of the actual data you wish to transfer.

wormhole send /path/to/the/file/you/wish/to/transfer.file

Step 3: Press the Enter key on the keyboard to initiate the transfer. When the transfer has been initiated, wormhole will print out a code in the terminal.

Take this code and send it to the person who’s receiving the data transfer.

Step 4: Once you’ve sent the code, have the person on the other side enter it in the terminal to start the transfer process. Repeat this process to send as many files as desired.

Please note that transferring files through Wormhole may take some time, due to internet speeds. Don’t close the terminal during the transfer process! Be patient!

Wormhole manual

Wormhole is a very advanced piece of software. If you’re curious about the other features included with the software, open up a terminal window and execute the man wormhole command. It’ll outline everything there is to know about the Wormhole tool!

man wormhole

Want to save the manual to a text file for easier reading? Run the following command.

man wormhole > ~/wormhole-manual.txt

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