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My son made some "thank you" videos that he would like to send to his friends. Each friend gets a different video, and they all reside in a single directory.

  1. Is there an easy way to email a link to each friend so they can see their video?
  2. It's fine if they want to download the video, but I don't want them to be able to edit the original file
  3. I don't want them to be able to "browse" or access the other files in the directory (or any other directory on my server, for that matter)
  4. It would be nice if I could edit the appearance of the link (ie, not have the link as //server/file-location but maybe thankyou-video)

I realize that I can just upload to YouTube, etc, but I'm looking for a way to do this without third-party.

A follow-up question is whether I can do the same with an entire directory (ie, share a directory of photos with someone) without the other party having to use a third-party app.

Using 16.04 with desktop.

  • Although it's "3rd Party" (in a way) Plex would accomplish this very well! – EODCraft Staff Nov 10 '17 at 20:17
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  1. Is there an easy way to email a link to each friend so they can see their video?

No, not really. You need some kind of sharing service. This can be anything from Owncloud, hosted at a computer you own, to YouTube or Dropbox. But you need some kind of publicly accessible server. A desktop computer that is on at random times is not a good fit. You can also install apache, and simply drop the files into the webserver's root directory (typically /var/www/html on Ubuntu).

The answer depends a lot on if this is a one time thing. If so? Use dropbox, youtube or whatever third party service you want. Owncloud or apache requires some maintenance, and takes time to set up. WHich is fine, if you plan to reuse it, or want to learn...

  1. It's fine if they want to download the video, but I don't want them to be able to edit the original file

Forget it. Hollywood's been trying DRM for ages - they have not succeded. If people can watch it, they can copy it. If they can copy it, they can edit it.

  1. I don't want them to be able to "browse" or access the other files in the directory (or any other directory on my server, for that matter)

How you do this depends on what kind of service you use for sharing it. If you use an http-server, limiting directory listing would be one way to avoid it.

  1. It would be nice if I could edit the appearance of the link (ie, not have the link as //server/file-location but maybe "thankyou-video")

//server... implies Samba share. Don't use that over the Internet. Use HTTP(S). The appearance of the link is typically handled separately; many mail clients support HTML e-mails which lets you define the link text yourself.

  • OK - will look into Apache (edted, not Samba, sorry) or Owncloud. Probably since we need to send these out quickly will just do YouTube for now. Re: PLEX, I have it but don't want others to have to deal with using it for a one-time thing. Also, for the DRM, I was just implying that I don't want them to edit my personal file. If they want to do something to their own download, have at it! Thx for your suggestions! – mkinsocal Nov 10 '17 at 22:23
  • Skip samba. It's not intended for use over the internet. Owncloud/Nextcloud is nice if you want to run your own dropbox-style-service, and is fairly easy to set up - but it requires a bit of knowledge, and a bit of maintenance. Not much, but more than dropbox. – vidarlo Nov 10 '17 at 22:24
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It's a good idea to install an ftp server. Select a separate folder, which will be visible "from the outside", and in the settings allow only download. In this way, you can protect the source file from being replaced or edited.

In the same way, you can share other materials. Create several folders with restricted access by ip or password, and from your ftp server different people will be able to download what you want to show only to them.

If you want to be able to edit the appearance of the link, you will be helped by the installation of a DNS server, for example, bind9. It's light enough in the tuning.

You can not protect the already downloaded file.

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    An FTP server is never a good idea in 2017. It's old and outdated protocol, with no inbuilt encryption; software is receiving less scrutiny for bugs, and it requires additional open ports. HTTP is a much better choice in almost all applications - and if not, scp/sftp is often a good alternative. And major browsers has discussed removing support for it. It's a dying protocol! – vidarlo Nov 10 '17 at 21:35

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