Easily Share Files Between Linux, Windows, And Mac

Here are various ways to share files between Linux, Windows, and macOS without any hassle.
Warp Terminal

If you have several computers running various operating systems, you might wonder how to share files between Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Using USB disks just to transfer files between computers that are connected to the same local network is not an intelligent solution. If the computers are on the same local network, why not share the files directly via the network?

We have previously seen how to transfer files between Ubuntu and Windows on the local network. Today we will see an even easier way to transfer files among Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X on the local network.

You have a few options to do it. Here, I shall cover some of the open-source applications that let you transfer files:

  1. Warpinator
  2. A web-based solution called Snapdrop
  3. A command-line tool called Magic-Wormhole.

1. Send files using Warpinator

Warpinator is a tool, developed by the Linux Mint team, to share files between systems. If you are a Linux Mint or an LMDE user, you can install it using the command:

sudo apt install warpinator

There is a package available in Arch repositories so that you can install it through:

sudo pacman -S warpinator

For Ubuntu, you need to either install it from the source or use the Flatpak version on Flathub. If you are confused about using Flatpak, read our guide on how to set up Flatpak in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

Once installed Warpinator on both of your machines, open it and set a Group Code. To achieve this, click on the hamburger menu on the top-left and select preferences.

Select Preferences in Warpinator
Select Preferences in Warpinator

Inside the new window, go to the Connection tab and set a group code as shown in the screenshot below.

Set a Group code in Warpinator
Set a Group code in Warpinator
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Please keep in mind that, you need to provide the same group code in all Warpinator instances in the network to discover devices.

Once the codes are set, Warpinator will discover your connected devices.

Warpinator discovers the connected devices
Warpinator discovers the connected devices

Click on the destination device name and browse for the files to send. As you select files, it will mark them as "Waiting for approval".

Sending files using Warpinator
Sending files using Warpinator

You need to go to the other device to approve the request by clicking on the tick button to receive the files.

Click the Tick button to receive the file
Click the Tick button to receive the file 

And, that is how you can share your files and documents using Warpinator.

2. Send files using Snap Drop

Snapdrop is a Progressive Web App for local file sharing. It is a project inspired by Apple AirDrop.

To share some files, first you need to make sure that both systems are connected to the same network. Once it is the case, open Snapdrop through your browser. This will bring you to the home page, where you can see you notice an active animation telling you that it is ready to share files.

Snapdrop home screen
Snapdrop home screen (Click to enlarge)

It will automatically assign a name to your device, Apricot Aphid, in my case. Once you open Snapdrop on the other system, you can notice the name pop up on the radar thing and select the one you desire to share files with.

Different devices connected to the same network are detected by snapdrop while using it
Different devices connected to the same network are detected by snapdrop (Click to enlarge)

You can see that three other systems are connected to the same network and are available to share files. As per the name, it is easy to identify the target system.

Now, click on a particular device to share the file with them. It will prompt you asking if you want to proceed (and if you would like to continue, getting prompts for each file received).

Save the file in the destination system
Save the file in the destination system

Similarly, if you right-click on any target, you can send messages to them.

Right-click on a destination to send messages
Right-click on a destination to send messages

The message will be delivered to the other device.

Message received via Snapdrop on destination
Message received via Snapdrop on destination

3. Send files using Magic Wormhole

Magic-Wormhole or the utility called wormhole is a command line tool to send arbitrary-sized files, directories, or text from one computer to another.

This simple utility is available in almost all major Linux distros. To install it on Ubuntu, run the following in a terminal:

sudo apt install magic-wormhole

The package is available in Homebrew and winget. ย So getting it installed will not be a hassle.

Once installed, open a terminal in the system, where the file to be sent is present. Now, run the following command:

wormhole send <path to the file>
Wormhole command to send file
Wormhole command to send file

This will give you a code, copy it and run it on the system where you want to receive the file.

The file received via the Wormhole utility
The file received via the Wormhole utility

You can see that the file has been received and saved. ย Furthermore, the sender machine will mark the transfer as complete.

Suggested Read ๐Ÿ“–

OnionShare: An Open-Source Tool to Share Files Securely Over Tor Network
Brief: OnionShare is a free and open-source tool that utilizes the Tor network to share files securely and anonymously. You might have already come across a lot of online services to share files securely but it may not be completely anonymous. Also, you do have to rely on a centralized

Honorable Mentions

  • SendAnywhere: A file transfer service where you can send and receive files using unique and short-lived keys.
  • Microsoft Edge Drop (feature exclusive to Microsoft Edge browser): A File and Text sharing mechanism under edge browser. ย 

Additionally, you can explore Advanced File sharing methods (like SSH) that could let you transfer files to a remote computer.

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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