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Within OS’s there are many different features, some are shared between OS’s like icons and pointers however every OS needs an edge, something which makes it a little different. OSX has one of these features and its a gem which should be included in every OS by default.
AirDrop is the quickest way to transfer files between two Macs, even if they’re not on the same network or if there is no Wi-Fi network available to connect to. This is done by creating an instant Ad-Hoc network between the Macs, and there is practically no configuration required. For those who have never used AirDrop before or who have ran into problems with it, here’s how to move files between Macs the easiest possible way.
The problem is as with many things Apple (much like Facetime) it’s an Apple only system, and thats no good for those of us out here in the cross system world.
I was looking for a similar system but for the three Ubuntu Pc’s I have at home (TV, Laptop and Server) while it might be suggested that I could use maybe Ubuntu One, Dropbox or a similar system the reason why Airdrop works well is because it doesn’t need to go out to the internet, all the communication goes on over the LAN.
Turns out despite the really good idea there are actually very few systems which do this sort of things on Linux and that actually surprised me.
The first application i found was on Sourceforge called Giver, and its a Mono project, however it seems to have stopped serious development back in 2007ish. However it was worth a go and unfortunatly the initial install fellover due to a lack of Libraries
The internet however came to its usual self support level via a handy WebUpd8 page the instructions even on this page are for much older Ubuntu versions but they do work on 13.04
1. For both Ubuntu 12.04, 11.10 and 11.04: The first issue with Giver is a missing .so file that prevents it from working. This can be fixed by installing libx11-dev
sudo apt-get install libx11-dev
2. For Ubuntu 12.04 and 11.10 only: besides the above issue, there’s another issue that prevents Giver from working (it occurs for all applications that still use Mono runtime 2.0 instead of 4.0). To fix this, run the command below:
gksu gedit /usr/share/applications/giver.desktop
And under “Exec”, replace “giver” with the following:
/usr/bin/mono --runtime=v4.0 /usr/lib/giver/Giver.exe
Save the file and Giver should now work.
Oh, and since Giver is not available in the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot or 12.04 Precise Pangolin repositories, you can download the .deb from here.
On launch on multiple systems, a list starts appearing of other Giver Systems on the LAN, and clicking on those systems provides you with an option to send a file of a folder. A few hours of playing with Giver and it seemed to work OK however it was a bit of a slow and a bit of a buggy beast and would only transfer files one way
While I was impressed by Giver, especially seeing how old the project was, I have Windows and OSX machines on the home LAN as well and something cross compatible would have been useful.. Thats when I found Duktu
The Website describes the application as:
If you don’t know Dukto, I can tell you that it’s an easy file transfer tool designed for LAN use. I use it in my everyday work to transfer files from one PC (or other device) to another, without worrying about users, permissions, operating systems, protocols, clients, servers and so on… Just start Dukto on the two PCs and transfer files and folders by dragging onto it’s window. That’s all.
Dukto main features are:
- Simple user interface
- No server or internet connection needed
- Zero configuration
- Clients auto-discovery
- High speed file transfer
- Multi-OS native support
- Portable version available
- Multi files and folders transfer
- Transfers log
- Send and receive text snippets (eg. useful for sending URLs)
- Open received files directly from the application
- Windows 7 taskbar integration with progress and transfer indicator
- Show your IP addresses on the IP connection page
- Full Unicode support
- Metro style UI
- Free and open source
Dukto is a free open source project, licensed under GPL.
The Ubuntu install file did so via the 13.04 software centre with little to no fuss and upon launching the application a pretty metro looking interface starts to appear. Just like Giver adding other machines to the Lan with Dukto on it will start a list of other devices appear within the Application.
Again like Giver you can transfer files and folders between devices and set specific folders which to autodownload files into. The application also has a feature which transfers text much like a chat app as well as being able to transfer the contents of a clipboard to other Duktu users on the LAN.
This is a cross platform Application and installs on IOS, Windows, OSX and on the desktop versions at least the Metro like interface does work well. However I did have a little issue with the OSX devices not showing up in the list of computers. I was however able to use the IP Connection to send files directly to the Mac from an Ubuntu PC.
This is a feature which Linux desktops in general could do well with, the ability to do this between Ubuntu and OpenSuse on Gnome, Unity, KDE and whatever interface takes your fancy, as well as possibly cross compatible with Windows and Mac.
Its a simple feature which via NFS or SMB is not easy for users to get working out of the box Dukto goes a long way to sort this out until someone comes up with a built in OS feature.