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How to transfer big files between two Macs using a firewire cable

2006-03-30 15:00:21

If you have two Macs and a firewire cable, you can make a superfast TCP/IP connection over which you can ftp or ssh or whatever. Here is a step-by-step way to do it, mostly for my own benefit, so I don't have to think too much.

Pretend you have two Macs. In my case, I have a G5 and a Powerbook.

1. Connect one end of the firewire cable to the G5; connect the other end to the Powerbook.

2. On each computer, open the System Preferences->Network panel.

3. Switch each panel to Show: Built-in Firewire.

4. On the G5, use these settings. You can pick and IP subnet you want, but I used for no particular reason, other than it is different than my LAN:

Screenshot 12

5. On the Powerbook, use these settings. The only difference is that the IP address is different:

Screenshot 13

Now go to either computer and open a file share, or ssh, or ftp, or whatever. Use the IP address of the other machine. For example, on the powerbook:

% scp bigfile.tar


Finder -> Go -> Connect to Server and use afp:// (assuming you have Apple File Sharing enabled).

Hints and possible problems:

1. Make sure your Firewall is OFF on both machines, or you at least set the right ports open.

2. Make sure Built-in Firewire is enabled on the Network Port Configurations screen on the Network Panel.