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How to share files between Android and Linux wirelessly

Trying to send some files to your Android device from a Linux computer but don’t have a data cable lying around? Good news, thanks to the freedom Google gives Android users, developers have come up with dozens of different ways to easily connect an Android device to a Linux computer.

Perhaps the easiest way to share files between Android and Linux wirelessly is by downloading an FTP app to your Android device. Why? It allows you to quickly host an impromptu FTP server on your Android device, which can then accept remote connections wirelessly.

Suffice it to say, many Android app developers are aware of how easy this is to do, and as a result, there’s an abundance of FTP WiFi transfer apps in the Google Play app store. With that said, in this guide, we’ll be focusing on the WiFi FTP Server app, as it’s one the most reliable apps in it’s category.

Download the app

Before we can talk about setting up the server, you’ll need to install the¬†WiFi FTP Server app on your Android device. To do this, open up the Google Play Store app on Android, search for “WiFi FTP Server” and install it. Alternatively, click on this link here and get it that way. Please keep in mind that the app requires Android 4.0 and higher, so ensure your device is up to date before installing the app.

Set up server

Once the WiFi FTP Server app has been installed on your Android device, it’s time to set up the server. To do it, launch the app. Then, when it’s open, click on the gear icon in the top right corner.

Scroll through the settings and look for the option that says “Root folder.” Tap on “Root folder.” After that, select what folder to set as the shared folder in your FTP server.

When you’re done setting the Root folder, tap the back button on your Android device to exit settings.

Note: having issues returning to the settings area by pressing the back button? Try closing the app and re-opening it instead.

After exiting the settings area of WiFi FTP Server, locate the “start” button and tap it to power up your Android file transfer server.

Install FileZilla

You will be transferring files with this server through the FTP protocol, so you’ll need to install a proper FTP client on your Linux PC. The FTP protocol has been around for a very long time, so there are quite a few decent clients out there. With that said, FileZilla is widely considered the best one to use, so we’ll focus on that one in this guide.

To install FileZilla on your Linux PC, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Once you’ve got a terminal window open, follow the command-line installation instructions for Filezilla that correspond with the Linux OS you are using.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install filezilla

Debian

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S filezilla

Fedora

sudo dnf install filezilla

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install filezilla

Generic Linux

Need to get the Filezilla FTP client on your Linux PC but not using a distribution that is well-known? Consider going to the official FileZilla website. They have a generic Linux download available that will run on almost anything!

Connect to the server in FileZilla

Now that the server is running and FileZilla is installed, it’s time to connect the FTP client to the server. To connect, launch FileZilla on your computer. After that, unlock your Android device, find the FTP address printed out in the FTP server app, and follow the step-by-step instructions below to get connected.

Step 1: Under the “Host” section at the top of FileZilla, fill out the FTP address shown in the app. It should look like the example below.

ftp://local.ip.address

Step 2: Locate the “Username” section of FileZilla and write in “android” as the user.

Step 3: Find the “Password” section and fill in “android” as the password.

Step 4: Make your way to the “Port” section and write in “2221” as the port.

Step 5: Start a connection to your FTP server by clicking the “quickconnect” button.

Upload files from Linux to Android

Need to send some data to your Android device from Linux? Here’s how to do it. First, find the column on the left in FileZilla. It should say “Local site.”

Under “Local site,” use the file browser to navigate to the file or folder you want to send to your Android device. Once you’ve found what you want to transfer, right-click on it with the mouse and select the “Upload” button to transfer the data to the FTP server.

Need to transfer multiple files or folders? Find a file or folder in the “Local site” panel on the left. Then, right-click on the data and select “add to queue.” Then, press Ctrl + P to process the queue list.

Download files from Android to Linux

Downloading files from Android to Linux over FTP in FileZilla works very similar to the way upload works. To do it, open up FileZilla and locate the panel on the right labeled “Remote site.” This represents your Android FTP server.

Use the file browser and locate the remote files you’d like to transfer to your Linux computer. When you’ve found them, right-click on the data and choose the “Download” button to start the transfer.

To download multiple files from your Android FTP server to Linux, right-click on the files, choose the “add to queue” option and press Ctrl + P to start the queue.

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