I have two computers, and I need to transfer a (very) large file between them.

Both computers are Thunderbolt 3 compatible, and I have a passive Thunderbolt cable ready to use.

Is there a way I can set up a direct peer-to-peer network between these two devices over this cable? I would rather avoid using adapters to Ethernet so that I can keep the theoretical max speed that Thunderbolt offers.

I've found this post on the kernel mailing list, but I have no idea how to use it, or if it's even available for me to use.

Both computers are running Ubuntu 16.04 with kernel 4.10 installed on them.


ThunderBolt 3 User Space tools

These are the ThunderBolt 3 User Space tools that work with Kernel Version 4.13 and higher. They were revised 6 days ago (December 4, 2017).

Summary from link


Thunderbolt™ technology is a transformational high-speed, dual protocol I/O that provides unmatched performance with up to 40Gbps bi-directional transfer speeds. It provides flexibility and simplicity by supporting both data (PCIe, USB3.1) and video (DisplayPort) on a single cable connection that can daisy-chain up to six devices.


The user-space components implement device approval support:

  1. Easier interaction with the kernel module for approving connected devices.
  2. ACL for auto-approving devices white-listed by the user.


tbtacl is intended to be triggered by udev (see the udev rules in tbtacl.rules). It auto-approves devices that are found in ACL.


tbtadm is a user-facing CLI tool. It provides operations for device approval, handling the ACL and more.

Supported OSes

  • Ubuntu* 16.04 and 17.04
  • Fedora* 26
  • Clear Linux*

Kernel/Daemon Compatibility

The user-space components operate in coordination with the upstream Thunderbolt kernel driver (found in v4.13) to provide the Thunderbolt functionalities. These components are NOT compatible with the old out-of-tree Thunderbolt kernel module.

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