F*EX (Frams' Fast File EXchange) is a service to send big (large, huge,
giant, ...) files from a user A to a user B.
The sender uploads the file to the F*EX server using a
WWW upload form and the recipient
automatically gets a notification e-mail with a download-URL.
Why do I need another service for file transfer?!
I have e-mail, ftp, ssh and even sendfile!
You still need F*EX :-)
For example, you want to send your colleague your last lab data set (1 GB).
You have the following possibilities (and problems):
sending a DVD by postal service
Out of the question - we live in the year
after invention of the internet!
Sending media (hardware) is for grandpas.
Most e-mail servers have a limit of 10 MB per e-mail and a
storage-quota of a few 100 MB per user or even less.
Why not cuneiform writing on stone plates?
You have your communication partners password or you are willing to give him yours
- just for a file transfer?
Using which ftp server?
Using which account, which password?
You do not mind sending unencrypted passwords and files over the insecure internet?
Your proxy supports passive-ftp?
In case of anonymous ftp:
Does it allow 1 GB uploads?
Does it allow to delete the upload afterwards?
Who else can download your file?
Who else can delete your file?
You have to send your friend the download-URL, he has to
inform you about the successful download, you have to delete
All in all: a pain in the ass.
No default upload and user management - must be programmed
Very few http servers can handle files greater than 2 GB
You run UNIX and have sendfile installed?
Your recipient runs UNIX and has sendfile installed?
Neither you nor your recipient has a firewall blocking port 487?
commercial services like DropLoad, ALLPeers, YouSendIt, etc
What limit do they have (most: < 2 GB)?
What about security and privacy: will your files be save and secure?
Are they open source based or closed proprietary?
Are they accessible with any browser or do you need java, active-X, flash or other evil plugins?
Will they exist longer than a few months?
(DropLoad, ALLPeers and drop.io already have terminated their business)
If you have answered only once "no" to the questions above, then you need
Main features of F*EX
file transfer of virtually unlimited file size
recipient and sender only need an e-mail program and a web browser -
of any kind, they do not have to install any software
RESEND and REGET for resuming after link failures at last sent byte
auto-notification of recipient
auto-deletion after download
auto-deletion after expiration date (default: 5 days)
full-users can create one time upload URLs for foreign users
full-users can create sub-users, who can send only to this full-user
full-users can create groups, an analogy to mailing lists, but for files
admin can allow (internal or external) user self-registration
admin can allow upload to public recipients without authentification
admin can allow upload for LAN users without registration (anonymous upload)
Sending to multiple recipients needs storage on the server only once
F*EX is a HTTP web-service and needs no firewall-tunnels
maintenance-free: no admin interaction necessary besides creating new F*EX accounts
support for streams, too
for real UNIX users, there are shell programs to avoid annoying
web browser usage
protocol and source-code free available
Let's talk about SEX
F*EX has a companion: Stream EXchange (SEX).
You can imagine SEX as network wide UNIX pipes with a relay between.
This can be useful for piping data from user A to user B where A and B cannot
establish a direct connection, but both can connect by HTTP to the
SEX server. For seamless integration into the UNIX tool chain, there are
the shell-tools sexsend and sexget.
Authentication is the same as with F*EX.
See the full feature list, the
FAQ and the use cases.
Interested in more software? See the UNIX fstools.