Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just learned there are several ways to transfer files between Windows on two computers from here. I was wondering

  1. what are the possible ways to transfer files between Ubuntus on two computers? And between a Ubuntu 8.10 computer and a Windows-7 computer, or between a Ubuntu 10.10 and a Windows-xp?
  2. Which way requires minimum extra hardwares and which way can achieve the highest transfer speed?

Thanks and regards!

PS: I have a rounter.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Between Linux/UNIX boxes, ssh/scp is quite good solution, it also provide you an encrypted file transfer. Note, that with "sshfs" (there is an ubuntu package called this, you can install it) you can even "mount" (with FUSE, but it's not important to know) the remote directory, and you can read/write then, as it was a local filesystem, you don't need to copy files "manually" each time. I even use the machine in the other part of the country, with sshfs to play videos, so I don't need to "download" them first (well, if the network bandwidth is enough for this). For windows, you can have the usual "shares" and you can mount as CIFS.

share|improve this answer
With gvfs you don't need sshfs. Just launch nautilus, hit Ctrl+L, put sftp://user@host:/path and press enter. –  ulidtko Feb 11 '11 at 15:56
Yes, but using sshfs it's much "deeper" thing. Using gvfs you only have that file system available for programs using gvfs. With sshfs it will work with every single softwares which uses file system. I more like universal solutions than others which only work in "special cases". For sure, if you need only nautilus for file browsing, it's quite OK (and maybe even simplier) to do that. However personally, I like to mount my home on the remote machine at boot time, so I can access it every time, with every softwares. [gfvs can be mounted with fuse btw, but it's another story :)] –  LGB Feb 11 '11 at 16:05
I meant with this: you can have your gvfs solution, but how work in shell with those files? sshfs give you a filesystem level access on the syscall level, so it's universal, everybody is happy, end of story :) :) –  LGB Feb 11 '11 at 23:13
add comment

The ways to transfer files between Linuses are clearly using sshfs sftp:// urls. Not much more to say on that, others did it well. For the file transfer between Windows and Linux, there are a couple of ways. The first is to use sftp, once it is installed on your server. You will likely have to install the package openssh-server. Search for this using Synaptics.

Then, under Windows, you can use filezilla to read and write files from your Linux server. It is strongly recommended that the actions be initiated from the Windows box. Installing and sharing files FROM Windows is not very stable, in my opinion. FileZilla will use sftp to transfer files.

The other way is to install samba and actually map a drive from Windows to it. You need to install the required samba packages on your server. You then also need to define a path under Linux and a sharename. Search for samba and Windows on the ubuntu web site. There are many web pages about this. Once the samba share is created, you can then map a drive to this share or use the "network neighborhood" to access them. One of the settings in the samba config file is the name of the workgroup. This name must match the actual name of the workgroup of your Windows machine.

Unless this is a connection that will be used on an ongoing basis, I strongly recommend that you then disable the NFS connection once you are done.

share|improve this answer
add comment

My favourite is through ssh. You can use the fish:// handler to achieve file management and sharing through via ssh both in dolphin (in KDE) or nautilus (in GNOME). Also you'd be able to add a "shortcut" to shared folders in the Ubuntu menu, clicking on "Resource" and then "Connect to server", where you can specify the other machine's login data and so.

There's no need for extra hardware apart from a router (which you already have). The only service needed is a running ssh server, which most distributions ship by default.

share|improve this answer
sftp:// is better. –  ulidtko Feb 11 '11 at 15:55
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.