Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Seamless sharing between Linux and Windows

I am a big Linux fan, but sometimes my work requires me to work on Windows based machines. To do this I use the Remmina application to allow me to connect my laptop's screen, keyboard and mouse to the remote machine.

The main function of Remmina is to facilitate remote interaction through the VNC protocol for Linux servers and the RDP protocol for Windows servers However another thing that many people struggle with is the need to share files between the local machine and the remote server. This is possible, but can be tricky to set up. For this reason the Remmina dialog for setting up a new connection includes a simple check-box which allows you to specify that you want to share one of your local directories with the remote machine.

When you make this selection Remmina will automatically configure a SMB share for the directory for the directory that you selected. Then it connects to the share on the target machine so you will see a shared drive listed in Windows Explorer on your target Windows machine (see the example screenshot).

I am not aware of any tools for file sharing in the opposite direction (i.e. sharing files between a Windows Laptop and a Linux server). However, I would be very surprised if there were not several tools available to meet this need. Maybe one of the readers of this blog could post a comment with a link to such a tool.

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