I'm looking for a software solution for sharing files on a local network.

I have at home several computers, some are running Windows 10, some others Linux. I have one computer in particular running Linux Debian where I wish I could receive any file (text, picture, or pdf) from any computer of my local network. For example, from my Windows PC, I wish to send a text file to that Linux machine, from another Linux computer I'd like to send a picture to this machine.

The problem is I'm looking for a solution with no or very little setup on the sender machines. No software installation or preconfiguration. I can't setup all my computers, furthermore I need a native solution because if someone comes home and want to share a file to the Linux machine, I want him to be able to. However on the receiver machine i don't care if there's a need for configuration.

I have a classical installation, what we would expect from a private, so a router on which are connected all my computers wirelessly or with an Ethernet cable.

I've heard of samba but I'm not sure if it's exactly what I'm looking for. Besides I've heard security concerns about it. I know Syncthing too, but that's not a good solution for me since it need a configuration beforehand.

Thanks for your help.

PS : Optionality , it would be great if it worked on Android cell phone too!

  • 2
    Unless you have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, the only way for Windows to access shares from Linux is via Samba, FTP, or HTTP. Rather than setting up a file server on each computer, you are better off buying a NAS and using that as a file server and connecting to it with each computer. It's far easier to manage one than several. – Nasir Riley Jul 27 at 23:50
  • Does magic-wormhole come close enough to "no software installation"? It specifically does secure one-off direct file transfers between computers at any distance. If you really do mean "no software installation" I don't see how this can possibly be on-topic here (you would need to be on Web Applications, presumably). – Michael Homer Jul 28 at 0:39
  • 1
    Why spend hundreds on a NAS when @Nicryc already has a debian machine? installing Samba on it will turn it into a fileserver compatible with pretty much everything. A consumer-grade NAS is just an over-priced, under-powered computer running linux or freebsd and samba and maybe NFS and other stuff, anyway. – cas Jul 28 at 2:04
  • 1
    this is what i do at home.. I have similar networks setup, router/wifi - centos/windows/mac. I got me a WD MyCloud NAS for about $100. Lot of similar NAS disks available on Amazon/Frys/BestBuy - No setup needed. support every thing a small startup needs, so personal needs should be ok. any thing I need to share I put it on that disk - and is available on all device s – user3723896 Jul 28 at 4:26

SAMBA has no more, or no less, security risk than any other app which can do what it does; Debian has a straightforward tutorial.

Android clients for SAMBA abound in the Google Play store, and TechRepublic has a HOWTO for you.

  • 2
    K7AAY is correct: the security concerns around SAMBA are at the protocol level, so will be common to all implementations. Since it is the common factor without adding additional software to the clients it is the only solution for a file server in this use case. As long as it stays behind a firewall and you secure the LAN it will be fine. – robartsd Jul 29 at 22:06

Check out nextcloud - it may be overkill for you, but it is fairly easy to set up server-side (it even has a snap!). I'm not totally sure what you're worried about security concern wise, but it's designed to be public internet facing so whatever you're worried about can probably be covered, and you can set up multiple user accounts with access to different sets of files.

Client-wise, nextcloud has a nice web interface if you're looking to just quickly upload and download files (both a login client and login-less upload and download only share links), and dropbox-esq sync clients for Windows, OSx, Linux, Android, and iOS.

It's also all FOSS :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.