What is the best Linux distro for local network file sharing? Answer: Arco Linux is the best distro for sharing files over a local network
Sharing files between two or more computers running Linux
If you use Linux, then there is a good chance that you convert more and more of your home computers to this amazing and free operating system. There are hundreds of different distributions available and the most-installed ones made a name for themselves for certain advantages they bring. Some are known for cutting edge up-to-date kernels, some look (much) prettier than others and some feature custom software that is unique. This post is about finding the best Linux distro for those who need to share files between one or more computers at home. If a local network is what you need, then you will benefit from how Arco Linux makes this task easy.
As I searched YouTube for helpful information, I discovered a well-made video that covered network files sharing which was exactly what I needed. Unfortunately, the video was made for Arco Linux. Since I had never heard of this distro, I downloaded it and made USB stick so that I could boot and try it. Upon running Arco Linux, I noticed right away that the distro was really nice. I work a lot in graphics and web design so the look of my work environment is as important as all the other things like system stability and so on.
What especially impressed me was the fact the Arco Linux, or at least the version I had downloaded, didn’t use KDE but XFCE. As a long-time Linus user I knew about XFCE and was very impressed when I saw that it too could handle my HiDpi monitors out of the box. They say that the first impression is the most important one and in my case, I was impressed with Arco Linux. It not only looked good, it was also very customizable which means that I could further tweak the look to my exact liking. After an hour of testing, I was sold and ready to install but not on my main workstation.
Installing Arco Linux on and older MSI laptop was quick and easy. The next day, I installed Arco Linux on my main workstation but things didn’t go as planned. For some reason, it would not boot on the newer Dell Inspiron 5680.
Installing Arco Linux on a Dell Inspiron 5680
The Dell Inspiron 5680 is sold as a gaming computer. I don’t play games but have a need for a heavy duty graphics work horse that can run Blender 3D. I installed twice and the second install would behave just like the first one. If Arco Linux didn’t leave the impression it did on the laptop, I would have given up but I am glad that I didn’t. The devil was in the BIOS and after I set RAID to AHCI , the install went as expected.
If you can’t boot Arco Linux on a new workstation, then go trough you BIOS setting and change RAID to AHCI and reboot.
Now with two computers running Arco Linux, I was finally ready to set up my network. To do so, I watched this YouTube video which was made by Eric Dubois and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSj0kd-0v7E
I was impressed that not only did this video explain what I needed to do, much more important, the steps worked. That was a fist. Within minutes, I had a home network set up and unlike my previous distro which suffered from selective amnesia, Arco Linux remembered the settings perfectly. It’s been a week since I switched to Arco Linux and the network performs the same as it did when I installed it.
If you have troubles connecting to and sharing files with other computers on your home network then I recommend that you check out Arco Linux. The secret ingredient are Eric’s scripts which are available by simply opening your file manager and then performingt the following steps:
- Hold the Control key and press H
This will show you all the hidden files
- Click on the .bin folder icon
This opens the .bin directory
- Once more, click on the main directory
In there, you have all the scripts you need
Now that you in the “main” directory, you should see eight shell scripts. To run them, simply right-click inside that windows (Thunar file browser) and select > “Open Terminal here”. This will, as you would expect, open a terminal window.
I decided that I want to create a sharable folder on my laptop. My decision was based on the simple fact that the laptop had more free disk space then the workstation and therefore, it would be better suited to hold the SHARED directory.
On the laptop, I run the 140-install-samba-v3.sh script by typing this exact line into the terminal.
Run the 150 script that same way and while you are there, run the 000-use-all-cores script as well.
Then follow the video to edit the samba configuration which is easy. You just comment out the last block and then safe the file.
On your other computer(s), you must run the 150 script to enable network discovery. That’s it. If this sounds complicated then let me tell you that it is only a few minutes of work and when you are done, you have a perfectly functioning network. Those shell scripts are invaluable and as far as I know, no other Linux distro has them.
If you are a professional that wants to work and not waste endless hours configuring this and that then I highly recommend that you try Arco Linux. To me, Arco Linux is the only distribution that is complete. Sure, every distro has something nice but all of the candy is useless if it prevents me from accessing and sharing my files with other computers here in my home office.
Arco Linux is a fast, stable and good-looking distro. There are many helpful videos you can watch and they have a forum with additional helpful information. I haven’t had the need to look there a lot. Initially, I needed to bug them because of the awkward BIOS tweak that was needed but once I got going, it was smooth sailing. I have used Arco Linux extensively for one week and nothing has broken. Everything works as expected and then some. Out of all the previous distros I trued, only Fedora Workstation 29 was able to see my laptop camera as well as the external touch screen.
External laptop screens are still hard to configure and therefore I was even more impressed when Arco Linux saw my HP touchscreen monitor and gave me a check-mark to enable it. There are countless other advantages that I have noticed and forgotten about because it just works.
Thank you for reading and if you have questions, then post a reply below. I get notified when you leave a comment and will approve and respond to it the same day. I hope you give Arco Linux a try. I am glad that I did.