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Syncthing is a great way to transfer files from PC to Steam Deck

By - | Views: 49,022

Recently I did a guide using the Warpinator tool to transfer files from PC to Steam Deck, here's another way using the wonderful tool Syncthing that you might prefer.

A lot of people seemed to like the previous guide and video, however a few people couldn't get Warpinator to work although most did. So as a bonus, I checked out Syncthing to see how that works. It's just as easy to get going too. First up, here's a video:

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One reason this tool might be better overall, is that it will continually sync when online so it might be useful for many other things like syncing saved games for those that don't have Steam Cloud and more.

Text guide:

  • Download Syncthing (it's free and open source)
    • Linux / Steam Deck: install Syncthing from Flathub. Available in the Discover software centre for Plasma.
    • Windows: head to this site to download it.
  • Load up Syncthing on both systems. You can keep hitting next on the setup, as the defaults are fine.
  • On one system, hit the little COG icon and click on Show ID. Make a note of the ID (I used the Saved Messaged feature on Telegram to just easily copy between system).
  • On your other device, hit the COG icon and select Add Device and paste the ID in. Click Save once you're happy with the options and shared folders.
  • Back to your other device, Syncthing will have an in-app message bar appear, click Add and in a moment or two it will show up.
  • Now simply add files to your synced folder(s) and they will appear on the other device.

To get some questions out of the way:

  • KDE Connect does not come pre-installed and doesn't have a proper Flatpak package for Linux / Steam Deck.
  • 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.
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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27 comments
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rustybroomhandle 26 Mar, 2022
Does the Steam Deck have KDE Connect pre-installed at all? If not I think we should push for it.
Liam Dawe 26 Mar, 2022
Quoting: rustybroomhandleDoes the Steam Deck have KDE Connect pre-installed at all? If not I think we should push for it.
.....
Quoting: The Article You Just ReadKDE Connect does not come pre-installed and doesn't have a proper Flatpak package for Linux / Steam Deck.
kokoko3k 26 Mar, 2022
While my understanding of the meaning of "simple" cannot include the need to perform many steps to accomplish one thing, I can understand that it can still be easier for some to perform what I personally call complexity, instead.
Sure thing is that anybody would agree that Valve should really provide a multiplatform solution which is simple and easy to perform such task out of the box.
Maybe via usb cable to avoid network troubles too.


Last edited by kokoko3k on 26 March 2022 at 10:21 am UTC
StalePopcorn 26 Mar, 2022
I can't wait to get home to try this out! Thanks!
Kiwii 26 Mar, 2022
Quoting: kokoko3kMaybe via usb cable to avoid network troubles too.
Then you get mtp troubles instead...
Lofty 26 Mar, 2022
Syncthing is great to use as a 3rd party backup solution using the untrusted nodes feature. It means you can have a backup of your data on the Cloud or on a PC at a friend or family's house and they cannot read the data because it's encrypted but you can still sync the node.

pretty ideal for a backup solution.
pageround 26 Mar, 2022
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Thanks Liam, syncthing is a great tool. Ive been using it for years. Cheers!
kokoko3k 26 Mar, 2022
Quoting: Kiwii
Quoting: kokoko3kMaybe via usb cable to avoid network troubles too.
Then you get mtp troubles instead...
mtp shortcomings do not depend on the transmission medium, but on the (poorly documented) protocol.
emphy 27 Mar, 2022
As asked before: what about normal network shares?

Should work right out of the box, is a standard action from the windows world, and, if I recall correctly from the ltt linux videos, is even Linus-tech-tips-proof-easy.


Last edited by emphy on 27 March 2022 at 5:38 am UTC
Nic264 27 Mar, 2022
Quoting: Liam DaweKDE Connect does not come pre-installed and doesn't have a proper Flatpak package for Linux / Steam Deck.

There actually is a (nightly) Flatpak package for KDE Connect in the KDE Apps repo. In short:
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists kdeapps --from https://distribute.kde.org/kdeapps.flatpakrepo # adds the kdeapps repo, can be done though Discover settings
flatpak install org.kde.kdeconnect # can obviously be done though Discover
flatpak override --user --filesystem=xdg-download org.kde.kdeconnect # allow it to write to downloads, can be done though Flatseal


Then you just launch the app, pair and you should be able to send/receive files.
I'm not sure how to get the indicator to show up in Plasma though.
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