In All Directions

Problems

In my lab, I looked at Linux-Linux and Linux-Windows connections, and vice versa, as well as Android-Linux and Android-Windows connections. NitroShare failed to cooperate with a workstation on Debian Sid, with failures in both directions and an error message regarding SSL that did not make sense. The problem resulted in a bug report on GitHub [3].

The application worked perfectly in all combinations and in all directions on Debian Sid, Ubuntu, and Windows notebooks and on an Android 8.1 smartphone. Controlling the application directly with its own tools could not have been easier.

Integration with the Nautilus file manager on Ubuntu (Figure 5) and Caja on Ubuntu MATE did not work: The context menus did not show any corresponding entries.

Figure 5: Ubuntu offers a PPA with up-to-date versions of NitroShare. However, embedding in Nautilus does not work.

I measured the speed of NitroShare with a 1.5GB file, which I sent wirelessly with Debian Sid and Ubuntu three times in both directions between the two notebooks. It reached transmission rates between 90 and 110KBps. With many small files totaling around 700MB, the data rate remained roughly the same.

Conclusions

Work on NitroShare has been in progress for six years now, so it would appear that any teething problems have now been eliminated. However, this was not always the case in the test, although not being able to access the Debian Sid workstation might not be the fault of the program itself. Nevertheless, it would be practical to copy the (in this case long) error message instead of typing it. The reason the integration in Nautilus and Caja did not work was still unclear after completing the test.

Despite these few problems, NitroShare does what it promises: After the install, you can get started immediately without having to configure any settings. Transfers take place quickly.

Android devices are limited to the sender role; the software does not offer mobile devices as targets on other clients. To do this, some Android apps offer the option of sending files directly via NitroShare. During the test, I found corresponding entries in Google Docs, Gallery, and Photos, but there may be more of them. Nevertheless, as far as Android is concerned, KDE Connect – which is even available on Gtk desktops – seems to be the more mature solution.

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