I was recently searching for a simple GUI tool to allow me to multi-select items on a remote system, and quickly copy / move them to my local system, and vice-versa.  A quick search sent me right to Muon (formerly known as Snowflake).

It's a simple application, with a small footprint.  You add an SSh session to a tree view, and connect right up.  Define your local and remote starting folders, and connect.

Truly, that's all it takes.

I'm not sure Muon even needs a write up like this, but wanted to give a few of the terminal commands for getting it installed.  It's really straight-forward, but figured it might help to see the commands anyway.

What you'll need

  • A Linux or Windows Desktop machine
  • About 2 minutes of your time.

Downloading Muon

First, visit the Muon (formerly Snowflake) GitHub Release page.  Find the latest version, and look under the "Assets" section.  Sometimes this is an expandable section that you simply click the little triangle icon to expand.

Once you see the available package options, you'll want to download the package that's right for your system.  If you're using Windows, download the file with the extension ".msi".  If you're on a Ubuntu / Debian based Linux distribution, then download the ".deb" file. If you're on any other Linux distro, you can try then ".bin" file, or grab the ".jar" and run it through Java, or you can grab the source code, and try to compile it yourself.

Installing with the ".deb" file

We'll move forward on the presumption that you have a Ubuntu / Debian distro.

Once the ".deb" file has downloaded, you can open your terminal application, and move to the Downloads folder (NOTE: If you download files to a different location, move to that location instead).

Once in the folder where you downloaded the ".deb" file, you'll want to run the command:

sudo dpkg -i snowflake-1.0.4-setup-amd64.deb

NOTE: make sure to use the filename for the file you downloaded. The file I show above is the name of the file I downloaded, for the version that was available at the time of download.

Watch your terminal output.  If you see any error listed (generally due to a dependency issue), you'll want to run the following command:

sudo apt install -f

You'll be prompted about what will be installed.  Answer with a y, then press Enter to continue.

After any dependencies are fixed, just re-run the "dpkg" command above:

sudo dpkg -i snowflake-1.0.4-setup-amd64.deb

Now, Muon should be installed. Although you'll probably need to start it as Snowflake.

Running Muon

Use whatever launcher your system has, and find the freshly installed Snowflake application.

When it first runs,t he User Interface will be essentially blank, but theere will be a "New Connection" button in the upper left corner.

Click the button, and fill in the information for your first connection.

I suggest giving it a descriptive name, so it's easy to find in the list as it grows.

Fill out the

  • a descriptive name for the remote machine.
  • IP Address of the remote machine
  • Port to connect to if 22 is not the port you use for SSH
  • username
  • password (alternatively you can select a private key file to use instead of a password)
  • Type in, or use the Browse button, to select the starting folder on your local machine.
  • Type in a path for a start folder on your remote machine.

Click 'Connect' or 'Save and Connect', and you should be ready.

You may be prompted to accept the remote machine signature on a first time connection.  If so, click 'Yes', and you'll see your remote machine files listed on the left, and your local files on the right.  Now you can drag and drop to move files between the machines all you want.  

You can multi-select by clicking on a file, then holding down the CTRL button and clicking on any other files you want to include.  Alternatively, you can click on a file, then hold the SHIFT key and clickon a file a few files down or up the list, and all files in between your first click and second click will be selected.

Now just drag them to the other pane to move / copy them to the other machine.

Other Tools

There are some great tools included with Muon, so check out the video for more detail on that.