If you're familiar with AirDrop, you know it's a popular feature developed by Apple Inc. that enables seamless file transfer between supported Macintosh computers and iOS devices using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, if you're using Linux and missing out on this functionality, worry not! We have a perfect solution for you. Say hello to LocalSend, an AirDrop alternative designed specifically for Linux systems. In this guide, we will discuss how to install and use LocalSend to securely share files, folders and text messages between different devices.
What is LocalSend?
LocalSend is a multi-platform, opensource application that provides secure device-to-device communication through the use of REST API and HTTPS encryption. LocalSend allows the users to share files and messages between nearby devices over the local Wi-Fi network.
It stands out from other messaging applications as it does not require an internet connection or third-party servers, which significantly enhances its speed and reliability for local communication.
LocalSend is a open-source application that supports Android, FireOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.
How LocalSend Works?
LocalSend uses a secure communication protocol that enables devices to connect and exchange data using a REST API. All information transmitted through LocalSend is protected by HTTPS encryption, ensuring a high level of security.
To enhance this security even further, each device generates a unique TLS/SSL certificate on the spot, adding an extra layer of protection. With LocalSend, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data is always transmitted securely and enjoy the convenience of wireless file transfer similar to AirDrop..
Install LocalSend in Linux
LocalSend provides various installation options for different Linux distributions. You can choose either the Flatpak or AppImage formats, which work well across multiple distributions. If you are using Arch Linux, EndeavourOS, or Manjaro Linux, you can easily install LocalSend from the Arch User Repository (AUR).
To install LocalSend from Flathub, ensure that you have flatpak installed on your system. Then, execute the following command:
$ flatpak install flathub org.localsend.localsend_app
For Arch Linux and its variants, make sure you have an AUR helper like paru or yay installed. Once you have the AUR helper set up, use either of the following commands to install LocalSend:
$ paru -S localsend
$ yay -S localsend
If you prefer AppImage format, download the lastest version from the releases page using command:
$ wget https://github.com/localsend/localsend/releases/download/v1.9.1/LocalSend-1.9.1.AppImagehttps://github.com/localsend/localsend/releases/download/v1.9.1/
Make it executable:
$ chmod +x LocalSend-1.9.1.AppImage
Run LocalSend using command:
Install LocalSend in Android
You can install LocalSend from either the Google Play Store or F-Droid. You can also download the apk file and add it manually.
Securely Share Files and Messages Across Devices using LocalSend
Ensure that the devices you wish to communicate with are connected to the same local network. You can use any number of supported devices. It could be either Android to Android, Android to Linux desktop, Linux desktop to Linux desktop or combination of all.
To illustrate the process, I will be using a Debian 11 desktop and an Android mobile device. Launch LocalSend on both devices to proceed with the demonstration. Both are connected to the same network.
First, I am going to launch LocalSend application in my Debian desktop. This is how LocalSend interface looks like in my Debian 11 desktop.
Then I launched it on my Android mobile as well.
As you can see, LocalSend interface is very simple and easy to understand. It has only three buttons namely Receive, Send and Settings.
LocalSend assigns unique nicknames to each device, ensuring individual identification across devices in the network.
From the device where you want to send/receive file or folder or text message, click the appropriate button on the LocalSend Interface. For example, if you want to send a file of folder or message, simply click the "Send" button.
LocalSend will automatically scan the nearby devices and list their names. As you can see in the screenshot below, It shows my Android mobile. Now you can select either a file or folder or a text message by clicking on the respective buttons on the top.
I am going to send a file, so I clicked the "File" button and chose an image file from my Downloads directory. You can choose multiple files by holding down the CTRL button.
The selected items will be shown under the "Selection" section. You can add more items by clicking the "Add" button.
To initiate file transfer, simply click on the nearby device to send the selected items.
Now the sender device will wait for the acknowledge from the recipient device.
From the recipient device (Android device in my case), click Accept to receive the file(s).
The selected items will be transferred instantly. Upon successful file transfer, you should see the "Finished" message on both devices. Click Done to complete the task.
Quite simple, isn't it?
Similarly, you can share folders and send text messages across different devices within the same network.
Within the Settings section, you have the flexibility to customize and modify various options to suit your preferences. These include adjusting the theme, selecting the desired language, specifying the destination location for received files, configuring the port number, and enabling or disabling encryption, among other available settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: LocalSend is a cross-platform application that enables secure file and message sharing among devices within a local network, without the need for an internet connection.
A: LocalSend supports a wide range of operating systems, including Android, Linux, iOS, FireOS, macOS, and Windows.
A: LocalSend employs a secure communication protocol and utilizes HTTPS encryption to safeguard data transmission between devices within the local network.
A: Yes, LocalSend supports file and message sharing between various combinations of devices, such as Android-to-Android, Android to Linux desktop, Linux desktop to Linux desktop, and more.
A: LocalSend does not impose specific file size limitations. However, the transfer speed may vary based on factors such as the network environment and device capabilities.
A: Yes, LocalSend operates solely within the local network, enabling communication and file sharing without reliance on an internet connection.
A: Yes, LocalSend is available as an open-source application and is free to download, install, and use.
LocalSend is as a reliable and secure solution for local file and message sharing across different devices. With its open-source nature, LocalSend offers transparency, flexibility, and community-driven development. By leveraging the power of your local network, LocalSend ensures fast, efficient, and secure communication without relying on the internet.
Whether you are an Android user, a Linux enthusiast, or a macOS user, LocalSend caters to your diverse needs with cross-platform compatibility. Its user-friendly interface and customizable settings enhance the overall experience, allowing you to fine-tune LocalSend according to your preferences.
Say goodbye to the limitations of traditional file-sharing methods and embrace the convenience of LocalSend. Enjoy seamless connectivity, enhanced privacy, and efficient data transfer within your local network. LocalSend empowers you to take control of your communication and ensures that your files and messages remain secure throughout the process.
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So glad I saw this, I installed localsend from f-droid on my phone and the flatpak on my desktop and it is great!
I transferred several folders of music from my desktop to my phone.