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

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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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29 comments
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Quinn 28 Mar
Quoting: QuinnTime for Valve to include KDE Connect methinks.

Install KDE Connect on Steam Deck.
uzay 30 Mar
I've been wondering, on Desktop you can use this (or Nextcloud) to keep your game saves in sync in the background. Would that be possible on the Steam Deck in the regular SteamOS mode as well or do you have to always start them manually to trigger a sync?
...
I really wish GOG would just give us a way to access Cloud Sync on Linux...
mat650 31 Mar
I use it on all my devices since many years. It developed into a stable and easy to use software for many uses, ranging from syncing remote folders to versioning entire drivers. I installed it on my Workstation (Ubuntu), my home NAS as a Docker container on OMV, and on my portable Android devices. I'm glad to see it finding use on the Steam Deck too.
slaapliedje 20 Apr
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ssh/scp or gtfo!
KROM 6 May
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I'm a little bit late to this party, but since I recently started looking into modding my games, I'm trying this guide to move files to my deck.

One thing I'd like to mention is that, when you don't have a mouse+keyboard+monitor attached to your deck, you might want to look into the software "Barrier", which is available in Discover.

You install it on the deck and your main computer, run it as server on your main and as a client on your deck and then you can share your keyboard+mouse with the deck, which is super helpful. You can also share the clipboard, which, again, is super helpful.

Just one thing, in my case I had to disable SSL on both the client and the server, otherwise it would not work for me. But that's easy (F4 (or "Barrier" -> "Change Settings") -> "Enable SSL" to off).

Just thought that might be useful info to some of you. :)


Last edited by KROM on 6 May 2022 at 10:59 am UTC
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Quoting: KROMI'm a little bit late to this party, but since I recently started looking into modding my games, I'm trying this guide to move files to my deck.

One thing I'd like to mention is that, when you don't have a mouse+keyboard+monitor attached to your deck, you might want to look into the software "Barrier", which is available in Discover.

You install it on the deck and your main computer, run it as server on your main and as a client on your deck and then you can share your keyboard+mouse with the deck, which is super helpful. You can also share the clipboard, which, again, is super helpful.

Just one thing, in my case I had to disable SSL on both the client and the server, otherwise it would not work for me. But that's easy (F4 (or "Barrier" -> "Change Settings") -> "Enable SSL" to off).

Just thought that might be useful info to some of you. :)
I went the lazy route and enabled ssh on the deck, and just use Nautilus / Dolphin to mount up the directory to copy files over.
Gareth 30 May
Thanks for this! I couldn't get Warpinator to work and this is working well so far.

It's so surprising that there isn't an easier way for Windows and Linux to share files.
GameGrue 30 Jun
I have posted a guide to the SteamDeck reddit on how to setup Syncthing to launch automatically even in Game Mode.

https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamDeck/comments/vocyi5/start_syncthing_automatically_on_steamdeck_even/

Might be useful to extend this guide with that information.
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Quoting: GameGrueI have posted a guide to the SteamDeck reddit on how to setup Syncthing to launch automatically even in Game Mode.

https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamDeck/comments/vocyi5/start_syncthing_automatically_on_steamdeck_even/

Might be useful to extend this guide with that information.
It's odd, I've seen others try to enable btrfs on the microsd card simply so they can also install the btrfs driver on Windows and then copy games over... that sounds painful. I tried just copying over something to the microsd card, but there is a weird thing SteamOS does to it, where it marks it as read-only when you shut down the Deck. After the second time trying to copy over Assassin's Creed: Odyssey directly to the SD card, I finally gave up up half way through the second one and just downloaded it directly. Though the partial copy I did seemed to work, and in theory copying over at 40-50mb/s is faster than downloading at 6mb/s :P
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