Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Transfer files to and from your Linux computer

Yesterday I wrote in my other blog about Droopy which is a French app which allows you to invite another computer (even one running Windows) to transfer a file to your Linux box.
Droopy is small, easy to download and install and works like a charm.
Today I had a look at Woof which is sort of like the opposite to Droopy in that it sets up a temporary file server on your Linux machine allowing any other machine (including, of course, machines running Windows, OS X or Haiku) to download files from your computer.
However, while Droopy apparently works between non-networked computers (although my tests were only within the same small network), I don't see any mention of Woof working between remote computers.
But, I'd like to try a test on this before concluding it doesn't work.
One thing I like about Woof is that you can create a ~/.woofrc file containing your IP and Port which then allows you to type just "woof" to set up the server.
Then on any computer on the same network, you just have to open a browser and browse to "http://192.168.x.y:abcd" where abcd represents the port chosen (I used 8000 or 8001).
A complication I came across is that there's a count (c) parameter allowed in the command line for Woof which determines how many downloads are permitted. Thing is that you need to download this number. If not, first the app will keep running even if you shut down the terminal (or use Ctrl-z to terminate it). So if you try to woof another file to the destination computer you get a "Cannot bind to IP....." error.
I found that the only way out of this impasse is to reboot.
So, for this reason, it's probably a good idea to keep the "count" parameter in ~/.woofrc set at 1 unless you specifically know you need x downloads.
Droopy and Woof together make a very powerful, yet eminently simple tool. I'm certainly going to get a lot of use out of them.

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