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Here's how to transfer files from your PC to a Steam Deck

By - | Views: 107,069

Want to transfer files to and from your PC to a Steam Deck? It's easy and here's how you can do it in a few minutes.

Something I've seen asked a lot directly to me, and across numerous posts on Reddit so hopefully this will help. This way requires no extra hardware, you just need to ensure your devices are on the same network and that's all.

First up, a video guide and below the text guide steps.

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Text guide:

  • Download Warpinator (a tool by the Linux Mint team)
    • Linux / Steam Deck: install Warpinator from Flathub. Available in the Discover software centre for Plasma.
    • Windows: head to this site to download it.
  • Load up Warpinator on both systems, and each will list the other device.
  • Select the device to transfer onto, then select "Send files" and just pick your files.
  • On the receiving device, it will have a pop-up noting an incoming file, just hit the tick next to it in the list.
  • Done

To get some questions out of the way:

  • KDE Connect does not come pre-installed, and a developer told me it's not going to be possible yet to put it on Flathub.
  • Yes, there's other ways to do it including sftp/ftp but this is a simple way anyone can follow.
  • There are browser-based solutions but they're much slower.

However, if you're not afraid of the terminal and Python (you can do this on Windows too): make a folder where you want stuff to be ready to transfer, then run this command inside that folder (Python 3): python -m http.server 5555 then on your Steam Deck open a browser to your host machine local IP (http://x.x.x.x:5555) and you can then see and grab files that way too. Credit to x_wing and g000h in our comments.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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47 comments
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ShabbyX 6 Mar
If you connect the deck with USB to a PC, does it not show itself as a storage device you could just copy into? You know, like connecting an Android phone or tablet would?

If not, it seems a worthy feature request.
Eike 6 Mar
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Did I understand correctly that enabling developer mode (or something alike) would allow me to install KDEConnect easily? I love that little one.

OT question: I guess Windows has something comparable? (Controlling media player and YouTube replay from phone, having phone notifications on PC and vice versa, sending SMS from PC, transferring files, sending custom commands to PC, ...)
Liam Dawe 6 Mar
Quoting: EikeDid I understand correctly that enabling developer mode (or something alike) would allow me to install KDEConnect easily? I love that little one.
Technically yes, but anything you do in developer mode can be and likely will be entirely overwritten by OS upgrades. Anything you do that you want to stick, should use Flatpaks or direct downloads for ease of use. Unless you want to get much more complicated.
Can't you just connect the Deck to a PC using USB and transfer files that way?
ShabbyX 6 Mar
Quoting: EikeOT question: I guess Windows has something comparable? (Controlling media player and YouTube replay from phone, having phone notifications on PC and vice versa, sending SMS from PC, transferring files, sending custom commands to PC, ...)

I've also heard windows is an Android accessory now, but I didn't understand, what is that comparable to here?
Liam Dawe 6 Mar
Quoting: CyborgZetaCan't you just connect the Deck to a PC using USB and transfer files that way?
Tried that, no dice.
pageround 6 Mar
View PC info
  • Supporter
Nice, i'll have to give warpinator a try. I've also used syncthing in the past and like it. It's also on flathub, but I havent tested the flatpak version.
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyborgZetaCan't you just connect the Deck to a PC using USB and transfer files that way?
Tried that, no dice.
That's really strange, but I guess it's because of the immutable filesystem. Since SteamOS would have to format microSD cards, I imagine you can't just put files on your card either.

Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this. I don't like having to jump through hoops just to do basic stuff.
Marlock 6 Mar
For people who are curious to try Warpinator, it already exists as an android app too:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=slowscript.warpinator

... and I can confidently say that both the linux and the android apps are very, very, very easy to use, stable and blazing fast for transfers when compared to pretty much any alternative! 10/10!!!
Quoting: CyborgZeta
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyborgZetaCan't you just connect the Deck to a PC using USB and transfer files that way?
Tried that, no dice.
That's really strange, but I guess it's because of the immutable filesystem. Since SteamOS would have to format microSD cards, I imagine you can't just put files on your card either.
It's not like no files can be added or changed. I mean, you can download games, flatpaks etc., and presumably there are save game files and so on.
Does SteamOS have to format the SD cards? Well, if you were a Windows user I guess for practical purposes because SteamOS wants them to be ext4, and I doubt Windows will format something to ext4. Presumably you could plug in an SD card, have SteamOS format it, then put it in your other computer and add things . . . can Windows work with ext4 if it's already there? You'd think, since Linux is so big in the server space and Windows still does server stuff, but I don't know. If you're a Linux user you'd be fine though, right?


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 6 March 2022 at 8:04 pm UTC
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