Unison Sync


Typical situation:

  • Photos&Music on Laptop
  • Photos&Music on USB drive

For my documents I actually sync to Ubuntu One and Dropbox (the 2G are totally enough for that, and Ubuntu déjà-dup scheduled backups are cool!), but I can’t sync my photos to online drives, I don’t want to pay for more space.

I was thinking on using rsync, but finally I decided to try something new (for me), Unison sync.

The unison-gtk graphical interface is easy, and the sync works perfectly!

apt-get install unison-gtk

The idea is that you create different profiles for different directories. In this case I create a profile for three of my directories: Documents, Pictures and Music

Creating a profile is as easy as: Path directory1 + Path directory2, and then unison will mantain this directories with the same data every time you run the sync. And that’s it, Unison will take care that the directories always hold the same data at the latest version.

I only had a problem with file permissions (As Always!). My external hard drive is formatted as Fat32 that does not support permissions. Unison refused to copy the files because it wast not possible to copy the permissions. The solution is easy, on the unison directory you have to edit the preferences files (for every profile) adding:

perms = 0

before the definition of the directories to sync. Once it’s done, unison does not try to copy the permissions.

More options for syncing directories are available 🙂 maybe I’ll try them on the future:

Conduit for Gnome –> This one actually seems really good.
Grsync –> rsync graphical interface on gnome.
Synkron –> Nice website! seems so professional.

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