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

By - | Views: 31,143

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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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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29 comments
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Nic264 27 Mar
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.
Liam Dawe 27 Mar
Quoting: Nic264
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.
I'm aware but I don't think suggesting the masses use nightlies which could break...nightly, is a good idea. Plus, Syncthing is popular.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 27 March 2022 at 8:58 am UTC
Quoting: kokoko3kWhile 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.

6 Easy Steps to accomplish an unlimited* number of things.

*Once you've gone through the simple setup, you can sync an infinite amount of files.
Quoting: Liam Dawe
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.

Thanks for the pointless sarcasm, mature human.


Last edited by rustybroomhandle on 27 March 2022 at 1:09 pm UTC
Liam Dawe 27 Mar
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: Liam Dawe
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.

Thanks for the pointless sarcasm, mature human.
You asked a question clearly answered by the article. Now you're moaning about me not being mature? Get a grip dude.
Nic264 27 Mar
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: Nic264
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.
I'm aware but I don't think suggesting the masses use nightlies which could break...nightly, is a good idea. Plus, Syncthing is popular.

Ah OK, so that's what you meant with “proper” Flatpak package. “stable” would be more proper here IMO

And yes, Syncthing is great!
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: Liam Dawe
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.

Thanks for the pointless sarcasm, mature human.
You asked a question clearly answered by the article. Now you're moaning about me not being mature? Get a grip dude.

Yes, people's favourite reason to visit a web site is so that the site owner can speak to them like he thinks they're assholes. You falsely assume people read every word you write. In this case why would someone who already knows how to use syncthing do that?
BTRE 27 Mar
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Quoting: rustybroomhandleYes, people's favourite reason to visit a web site is so that the site owner can speak to them like he thinks they're assholes. You falsely assume people read every word you write. In this case why would someone who already knows how to use syncthing do that?

It seems strange to me to come to a site, not read a short article, ask a question that was covered explicitly by aforementioned article, and then get offended that you're referred to the article for the answer and claim that there should be no expectation that someone reads the entire article. A "whoops, sorry, didn't see that somehow" seems more sensible instead of doubling down on silly outrage.
tuubi 27 Mar
Quoting: BTRE
Quoting: rustybroomhandleYes, people's favourite reason to visit a web site is so that the site owner can speak to them like he thinks they're assholes. You falsely assume people read every word you write. In this case why would someone who already knows how to use syncthing do that?

It seems strange to me to come to a site, not read a short article, ask a question that was covered explicitly by aforementioned article, and then get offended that you're referred to the article for the answer and claim that there should be no expectation that someone reads the entire article. A "whoops, sorry, didn't see that somehow" seems more sensible instead of doubling down on silly outrage.

I blame Reddit.
I used Syncthing for a while! It's actually pretty cool, and I'd recommend it for people who have multiple devices and just want to sync folders between them. It's pretty much the only option for these that is properly open source and doesn't rely on complicated setup.

The main issue I have is the lack of on-demand feature and a more robust phone app (and IIRC their iPhone client is proprietary and pretty much paid-only as well). I want to use it to get off the cloud, but it's too limited for that, unfortunately.

I switched to Resilio because of that, as while proprietary, it is robust enough for me to use as cloud replacement that, with one device that is always-on, allows me to access my remote files from phone as well as selectively backup + download my photos. Instantly canceled my OneDrive subscription after that.

Buuuut it is proprietary, isn't available via package manager, and selective sync as well a few other features are paid-only on PC - thankfully, both selective sync and ID connection works on phone - you can use your phone as introducer in case your other devices doesn't have trial anymore.

I would happily switch back to SyncThing as soon as they have they have all I need, but considering how Syncthing Lite was dead for so long and the disappointment that was Mobius Sync, I can't say I'm optimistic it's going to happen anytime soon.

(yes, i won't stop mentioning resilio and bitching about syncthing's lack of simple selective sync on both android and PC until it's implemented - I'll take it even if it's paid option)

Then again, SyncThing is probably the only option we're going to have on Steam Deck for a long while (unless you want to fiddle with SeaFile - which seems like even more of a hassle and less trustable) so if I have a Steam Deck then I'll just install SyncThing to at least have a sync setup.


Last edited by fenglengshun on 27 March 2022 at 7:18 pm UTC
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