Is there anything in Linux that implements whatever it is that makes Airdrop in OS X work? I'm not really familiar with that program, so I'm not sure what protocol it's using to communicate. update Specifically I'm looking for a program(s) that if I fired them up, I'd be able to receive and send files to an OS X machine, like I was using Airdrop. (this may be like needing samba to network with windows)
I'm not 100% familiar with Airdrop but in looking at the Wikipedia page on the topic it essentially sounds like a file sharing (P2P) without having to have an access point in the mix. Basically 2 WiFi clients can share files among each other.
To that end there are 2 options listed at the bottom of that same Wikipedia page.
The first looks to basically be an Android only option:
shoutr is a mobile application which allows users to transfer data of any kind between Android powered devices. What is unique about shoutr is that it works without an internet connection or pre-existing network infrastructure. All that is needed are two or more Android devices equipped with Wi-Fi technology. All data sent with shoutr is protected by WPA2 encryption.
The technology behind shoutr is based on the WiFi capability built into the respective Android device. This is used to connect devices directly: One device opens up a WiFi hotspot; other devices connect to it and get the data - this does not need a WiFi hotspot around.1
The second option however looked to be promising.
Wi-Fi Direct, initially called Wi-Fi P2P, is a Wi-Fi standard that enables devices to connect easily with each other without requiring a wireless access point and to communicate at typical Wi-Fi speeds for everything from file transfer to Internet connectivity. One advantage of Wi-Fi Direct is the ability to connect devices even if they are from different manufacturers. Only one of the Wi-Fi devices needs to be compliant with Wi-Fi Direct to establish a peer-to-peer connection that transfers data directly between each other with greatly reduced setup.
Digging into the technology it would appear to already be included in the wireless capabilities of the Linux kernel. There's a link off of the Information for Developers portion of the Wireless Linux website. The link's titled: P2P / Wi-Fi Direct includes links to a howto, as well as a overview of the stack and the API.
Despite this post being a bit old, this might still help someone.
Here's a free AirPort implementation : https://github.com/juhovh/shairplay
Not sure if this will actually help you get AirDrop working with an Apple device, though.
However, here's a multiplatform - browser / WebRTC based - alternative that works well for small files (as far as I tested it) : https://www.sharedrop.io/
The protocol behind AirDrop is AWDL. There is now an open AWDL imlementation called OWL, as well as an AirDrop-compatible linux command-line tool called OpenDrop. See https://owlink.org/code/.