How to transfer data between disks of two laptops?

Currently I use an external HDD (with Grsync) to keep backups of my ThinkPad Lappy Files

I would now like to also backup these files to my old ASUS lappy

The simplest way I can see is to use Grsync with my external HDD connected to the ASUS:

  1. Backup files from ThinkPad to External HDD
  2. Backup files from External HDD to ASUS

But I was wondering if there is any way of connecting the two Lappys directly to do a backup from the ThinkPad directly to the ASUS

I vaguely remember using a ‘null modem’ cable years and years ago

Both Lappys have USB-A and RJ45

Or is there another way?
Perhaps linking two directly via Wifi? (I’d like to avoid going through my router as it’s crap, and my fibre provider has made it so its very complex and flakey to substitute it.)

EDIT: I do have a little Ethernet switch somewhere


Easier …

Easy …

If you’re behind a router, both machines will have their own unique internal addresses. Once you ID those, you can use FileZilla on one PC to connect to the second PC. Ftp, sftp, etc.

You could also use Rsync from terminal.

Direct machine to machine with an ethernet cable & you would have to set both up on a static address.



This looks like an interesting and simple good way

I never realised it worked over ssh

AND I can cheat by ATL+R in Grsync which gives the rsync command :smiley:
It even looks like I can use ssh with Grsync (not surprisong as its just GUI rsync I think). But prob best if I keep that quiet if I do LOL.


You can connect the external HDD to the ASUS and then turn the ASUS into a simple file server. You can do that with NFS, vsftp, or SSH/SSHFS.

Once the server side is set up, you can just access the server and use rsync/grsync to backup the files after mounting the shared destinations.

What’s the actual use scenario? Are these work or home computers? Do you need to back up files from a Windows client?


Thanks @PackRat

It’s just me messing around trying to find a ‘meaning’ for my old ASUS Laptop now i have this new ThinkPad T16 love of my life

The ASUS is just so well set up with those two SSD’s, with ArchLabs & Win10 dual boot (thanks to you and @eight_bit_al) that I am loathe to ‘break it down’, so I thought I could just sync my data from the new Lappy every so often onto the ASUS and it would be a kind of ‘digital twin’ (I have no idea why I want to do this).

To be honest, I have been messing around today and by far the most KISS method is to backup to the external HDD as I do anyway and then use (G)rsync to sync my ASUS to (in the sense of HDD is the master) that external HDD.

In fact I already had Grsync set up on the ASUS to sync to the external HDD (when the ASUS was my main lappy) and I just swapped the source and destination so that the ASUS is now the target rather than the source.

All is working fine now, and probably miles faster than doing it over wifi via whatever method

So now I have the ASUS all running well with my files synced to it from my ‘Master’ Thinkpad lappy

But I am not sure why I have done this.

Just plugin and external drive copy home folder & mpd folders that’s it really, plus I can take it where ever I go. Handy if I’m away with only my T430 and no internet.

At the moment I run three systems AL , Vold , Garuda. But I only need one copy of the above as they all run the same windows manager dkwm , and if I want something from one of the other systems I copy it over with a file manager.

One thing about Garuda they use btrfs which doe’s not play well with ext4 or maybe the other way around ?. So I used ext4 instead that way update-grub works from AL.

Hope this is understandable. lol


Should be as simple as that @KoO.


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Thanks @KoO

Its my work and home data files (around 1TB in total) that I was messing around with trying to sync between lappys, and physically using the back up external drive is definitely the simplest way (and much faster I would think).

I ended up doing the same with my RPi Nextcloud - I have been nurturing the nextcloud-client sync for years, but recently threw the towel in and just physically take the Nextcloud disk and plug it into the lappy and sync the files via cable every so often (I only use the RPi Nextcloud for outside access to my files once in a blue moon anyway).

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The main reason I use a drive is when I go bush theirs no phone or internet. A few years ago I made a small home server it was fun for a few days but after that never used it again. And I can keep the drive in laptop bag just update every now and then.

That’s what I used to do, all my files on an external disk and then take that between home and office computers. It was really good

But then Covid happened and I was just at home, and my work computer is so old and crap and I got this new lappy and so i moved to all data on the Lappy. It also made my desk more spic and span too with less clutter, I hate clutter

But I did only have to carry around the external disk

Maybe I might leave put the ASUS at work and just carry my daily backup disk (I have another weekly one, plus the Nextcloud ‘backups’ in case I damage or loose that external disk) to and fro.

AND, that way, one of my effectively ‘backups’ wont be in the same location.

Oh no, a new plan!