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A friend and I share a lot of files between ourselves. We would like a way that makes it easy for us to send files to one another without the need for the other to be there to accept the transfer. i.e. I can upload files to a folder on his computer whenever I'd like, and he can do the same for me.

Here are our constraints:

  • We are both running Ubuntu 18.04
  • We both have dynamic IP addresses
  • We are both on residential cable-based internet and behind consumer-grade routers.

Here are our goals:

  • The sender can initiate and complete the transaction alone -- the receiver does not need to be at their computer.
  • We want to avoid cloud-based solutions like Dropbox.
  • We strongly prefer libre gnu/gpl based software. (Resilio Sync may be our solution, but I'd rather avoid proprietary software if possible.)
  • The solution is somewhat robust -- i.e. it won't break every month due to normal things like IP changes, etc.

Is there a solution that fits our needs?

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  • Use any vpn solution (e.g. tor hidden network service), set up samba servers, then mount each other. Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 23:46
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    Syncthing is perfect for this.
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 23:49
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    @jasonwryan I would like to upvote Syncthing as the right tool for the job. Please post it as an answer. :) Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 11:16

2 Answers 2

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I would get a dyndns or no-ip account one for each of you. Run the updater client on each of your systems. Then use the staic adresses that you create to sshfs mount a drive or folder on eachothers systems.

 sshfs [email protected]:/path/to/mount/remote /where/to/mount/local

Then you could just use it like a local folder.

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I have been using Owncloud up to now for similar robust file-sharing (minus a separate server). However, lately I have been using Nextcloud, which has been Docker-ized as well so you can be up and running lickity-split. It works quite well and even has some plugins which can be useful beyond file-sharing.

Couple this with any of the myriad Dynamic DNS services and you've got file-sharing on-the-go. By the way, we used something similar to this for the Heard Island Expedition and it worked even via our Inmarsat connection.

Lately I have been having great results with SyncThing, which can be set up to work securely and without user intervention. I use it to sync very large video files between two editing workstations.

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