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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/giver_intro.jpg”>You know that, no matter what operating system you use, sharing files across a network can sometimes be a pain. Sadly, Linux isn’t always an exception in this category either, although for basic folder sharing some distributions make it easier. Having to set up a shared folder is even more painful when all you really want to do is send a file to a different computer, without having to use Dropbox or another outside service.
Giver, which has already been reviewed back in early 2009, still belongs to the list of top-notch programs. This is even more surprising considering that the last release came out in 2007. Although the program itself hasn’t changed, the distributions themselves have changed dramatically, and yet the program still works.
Giver does file sharing a little differently. Instead of sharing a folder to the network, you can simply choose a file or folder to send to a certain computer. In other words, this is a one-time transaction, like sending an email with an attachment. That’s all Giver does while barely having any options to configure in order to keep the experience as simple and flawless as possible.
In my own experience all distributions simply name the package “giver”, but if you use a distribution with a small user base, you may want to double check.
As soon as Giver is installed on the two computers you would like to send files to and from, open up Giver on each computer. It magically detects the instances of Giver running on your own computer and any other computer on the network. From there, you can either left click, choose the option you want, and choose the file/folder to send, or you can drag and drop a file or folder onto a computer in the list to do the same.
A notification should then appear on the computer that is receiving the file or folder, where you must click Accept in order to start the process. It should go relatively quickly (it’s using your full LAN or WiFi speed, after all), and it will be stored in whatever folder you have set.
Speaking of options, I’m going to mention them really quick. Like I said, there aren’t very many at all, as you can probably determine from the screenshot. Again, this was meant for easy and flawless operation with no configuration needed out-of-the-box. There are only three possible things you can configure. You can change your name if you would like (which it originally takes from whatever you have set for your system account for “Full Name”), what kind of icon appears whenever people see your computer on their list, and where to save files that were given to you.
Linux distributions have changed quite a bit, considering the arrival of GNOME 3 and the general advancement of software stacks. No worries though, Giver runs perfectly fine alongside newer software stacks, and doesn’t give you any problems. However, it would be helpful to note that Giver directly uses ports. Therefore, if a port is not open thanks to your system firewall, nothing will get through, even if your computer appears on the other person’s list.
Normally, setting a port exception would do the trick (the list even says what port it’s using!), but because Giver randomizes the port each time you start it up, that may not be a viable solution for you. I would think that the developers were fine with it being this way because it is meant to be used over a network anyway, which should be appropriately configured and protected. Therefore, for easy operation you should disable your firewall, but to protect yourself, make sure that your network has a firewall itself and that it works well.
Also, if you’re using this on a mobile computer, I highly recommend that you immediately turn on your firewall again before leaving your protected network. Linux may not be affected by any viruses (at least there’s nothing common out there), but direct attacks from hackers are still a possibility.
For networks, Giver is almost a must, especially in larger environments such as workplaces. Despite its age, it is very stable and works as great as it should. Maybe someday a group can come back and enhance Giver even more by adding new features, such as GTK3 support. However, as long as it runs, everything is in order.
How often do you share files and folders? Do you often find yourself only doing this for some individual files? Would you use Giver, and how would you maybe improve it? Let us know in the comments!
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