Using a USB to USB data transfer cable in Linux?

Does anyone have experience using a USB data link cable between two Linux machines? I can’t find information anywhere.

Example: USB3LINK

I already have a NAS but i’m looking for a way to transfer files over USB so I can share data on the fly from a mounted folder.

I’ve done OTG based networking with a Pi Zero and I could probably get OTG mass storage working but it requires a USB chip compatible with gadget mode and the appropriate modules turned on in the kernel. Support seems to be the exception rather than the rule and i’d like the freedom to pick any hardware.

Open to any ideas.

One challenge that I can think of is the power that is pumped through the USB. I’m guessing that negating that power is probably the role of the gadget mode chip. Is Ethernet a possibility? You could transpose the TX and RX cables on a diy CATx cable (or cut the power cable – #1 pin – on the USB cable? Maybe?). I’d do lots of research before I tried it on “keeper” hardware.

The Startech does do power isolation, i’ve just never used one so I have no idea how it works and I can’t find anyone using Linux who has.

I’ve done LAN to LAN with a Raspi 2 but not with a special LAN cable, I used it to drive a 3rd monitor for my laptop using tigervnc. A special LAN cable sounds interesting though I wouldn’t have the “on-the-fly” mass storage aspect.

Random thought: SSH over IR

4 Mbps though :confused:

IR would be cool but definitely not speedy.

The cat 5 cable is a crossover. It essentially does the job of a switch or hub in the actual cable. We used to make them to hook 2 computers together in a small office that way we didn’t have to spend $ on a hub or switch.

Heavily dependent on your USB ports available but i have used two cheap usb Ethernet adapters for this with good success. Close to gigabit Ethernet speeds at least (with usb 3.x — much less if you’re limited to usb 2 but still works at least)

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FYI, if you go the Ethernet route, the cross over cable won’t be necessary as long as at least one of ports supports Auto MDI-X.


@Jp7x7 Great idea. I didn’t know that this was possible.

With the adapters do you still need to use a crossover cable or will a regular patch cable work?


@LinuxUser Thank you. Time for me to get out of the 1990’s - LOL

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Yep. I stopped carrying a crossover cable in my bag when i stopped working with Cisco switches that are notoriously bad at auto mdix. Most devices are pretty good at it. :slight_smile:

Some beautiful stranger wrote into DL to answer my question. This is literally the perfect answer:

I put a lot of time into search and this just never came up. It’s coming from the U.S. so it may take a bit but i’m going to do a full product review and get thinkpenguin’s name out.

Quick summary:

  • Built for GNU/Linux
  • USB 3.0 data transfer cable
  • Faster than gigabit ethernet
  • High quality PL27A1 super-speed USB host to host bridge controller
  • No proprietary SPI flash component
  • No special software required, uses standard file sharing protocols and software built into GNOME, KDE, and other GNU/Linux desktop DEs
  • Comprehensive demonstrations of use: Index of /public_html/demos

This is just so cool. THANK YOU for writing in! :slight_smile: