Easy cross platform file transfer: a short Hybrid Share review

Tux
Hybrid Share is a Mono application dedicated to easy client-to-client file transfer cross the different platforms. It aims to end the current IM file transfer “Insatisfaction” of normal clients like Gaim and Kopete via the usage of P2P technologies.

In principle, Hybrid Share is like any other Instant Messenger program: first of all you have the login-screen:

Hybrid-Share login

If you use the default options (namely, “use secure authentication”) then you also have to register first at a central server which will manage the key exchange between the clients (I guess). After that registration it will just work – without any further configuration. However, if you do not want to use the server side registration: when you un-check the secure authentication, the password field grays out, and you can just start the client with a buddy name. The difference between these two methods becomes clear when someone else wants to add you as a buddy: if you use the secure authentication, the other one can just enter your buddy name. If you chose to not use the secure method, the other person also has to know your IP and port number:

Hybrid-Share add peer

In any case, the main window looks like that:

Hybrid-Share main interface

The lock at your monitor indicates if you are using secure authentication or not. Also, the tab “Me” is opened; it shows all files you put up at your network for everyone to download. Another tab “liquidat” shows a similar window, but of a different user. The tab “Network” lists all your buddys.
The useful part is now that you can simply drag and drop (at least with Nautilus): if you want to send a file to another user, just drop it into ihs tab. Or if you want to provide another file to everyone on your network, drop it into your own tab. There is also a download manager showing all necessary information about current up- and downloads.

Hybrid-Share download manager

Hybrid Share is also extensible with plugins – one of the most interesting and default installed plugins is the talk plugin which gives you the ability to chat with your buddies:

Hybrid-Share talk plugin

I would be rather stupid to open another IM app to talk to someone about the file you’ve just sent with Hybrid Share, I think ;)

In comparison to other IM applications Hybrid Share has quite some benefits: first of all it just works without problems due to P2P. Also, the idea to have a “public” folder is rather nice, I’ve this otherwise only on iFolder. And it is cross platform – just ask your friends to install it on MacOS X, Windows or Linux, and they will be able to do.
However, there are also some shortcomings: First of all drag&drop was not working at all with konqueror on my machine. Also, the registration on the sourcefoge-server made problems, and it is not integrated with other standards like Jabber. Last but not least we can expect (hopefully) a massive improvement in this area at least in regard to Jabber P2P file transfer and therefore it can be questioned if we really need a new application for that taks in the future.

But the future is not here yet, and atm the program fullfills a simple task in a reliable way – and is even well designed. Also, the idea to make it extensible by plugins and to have a public folder provided to all members of the network is interesting and should definitely be adepted by other possible future solutions.

If you want to test it, give it a try – there is even a precompiled Linux binary which you can install by just copying the files to the appropriate places: unpack the file and run cp -viR usr /. Give it a test with Hybrid Share.

As a last note: only the main window screenshot provided on this page was done with a program started on my machine. The other screenshots are taken from the official Hybrid Share screenshot section on the web page.

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2 thoughts on “Easy cross platform file transfer: a short Hybrid Share review

  1. Thanks, I really love your blogging on these new Linux developments. YOu’ve definitely earned a place in my Google reader :)

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