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How do I network my desktop to my laptop? They both use my linksys router wired internet and I have a large selection of distros that I can use once I know what is called for. I run about 3-4 distros on an old Dell gx 240 and a Sager 4760 does the same each have 3/4 GB ram but the 250 GB HDD and 80 GB HDD are in the Dell and the Sager has the dvd burner so talking to eachother would be a great boon as no $$ are available. Is there a simple way to network these computers? I am even willing to install my old ethernet board so I could run a direct wire and still have web access. Not a clue what software to use. I prefer to use terminal commands.

Linux has given me a new spark since I had gotton bored of waiting to die of cancer as Dr.s told me 18 months ago, still here, happier now. How do I suggest to bash that the two boxes are one?

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What exactly do you mean by "connect"? What do you want to use the connection for?

You say you prefer terminal commands. In this case simply install an ssh-server on the one box and use ssh on the other box.

Let's take ubuntu/debian as an example OS:

box1$ sudo aptitude install openssh-server openssh-client
box1$ ssh localhost # you should be able to log in to the same box (box1)
box2$ sudo aptitude install openssh-client
box2$ ssh box1 # you should be able to log in to box1 again

This way you can log in to the other box and work on it. If you need other ways of "connection", you should think about what exactly you want to do. ;)

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I would include ifconfig eth0 | fgrep inet addr to find the IP address of the 'other' box – Anthon Apr 13 '13 at 12:47

They both use my lynksys router wired internet

If by this you mean they are both connected to the router with an ethernet cable, then they are already networked together. Get the local ip address of one computer with ifconfig:

> ifconfig
em1: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
       inet  netmask  broadcast
       ether c8:60:00:8a:50:39  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet

The interface may be called eth0 or something else. In any case, the IP address is on the second line (in this case, This is not the same as the IP address the computer uses in the outside world. Now on the other computer, try:


Presuming there isn't a firewall preventing this (by default most distros don't), the ping should work, meaning the computers can communicate over your LAN (local area network) which is the router and anything connected to it.

Where you go from there depends what you want to do. If you want to log into the other computer remotely and use the command line there, which most people do, use ssh. With regard to file sharing there are various options, such as NFS. If you just want to be able to transfer a few files occasionally, you could also use ftp or some of the ssh tools (scp and sftp).

Sometimes routers are set up to delimit traffic between computers on the LAN. That may be something you want to look into if you have problems getting a particular service, such as ssh or ftp, to connect.

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Thank you for your clear, understandable and methodical approach. It sounds a lot more possible now and I am hopeful that my followthrough will go this smoothly.@goldilocks – user132035 Apr 14 '13 at 11:46

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