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Sync desktop & laptop over LAN?

s3rial ones3rial one Registered User regular
Before I start: I know of utilities like Dropbox and Mesh, and those aren't what I'm looking for.

Here's the deal: I have a desktop and a laptop. I want them to automatically (and ideally in something close to real time) sync with each other.

The thing is, I want so sync some large files and folders; music, wallpaper, documents, etc. I also don't necessarily want it all available online, in some third party's hands. This is why Mesh and Dropbox don't do it for me; too slow, and I can't legally share some of these files with third parties.

So what I want is some application that, when one PC can see the other on my home network they'll automatically stay in sync.

Is there such a tool?

I've Googled around a bit, but the few things I've found seem to be a bit shady, and have that "I'm charging you $100 for this piece of crap app I developed for my computer science class" vibe, like shareware and whatnot.

s3rial one on

Posts

  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    sync toy. Powertool made by Microsoft.

    Also, you can do P2P sync with Live mesh. you just turn off syncing to the live desktop off.

    wunderbar on
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  • s3rial ones3rial one Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    wunderbar wrote: »
    sync toy. Powertool made by Microsoft.

    Also, you can do P2P sync with Live mesh. you just turn off syncing to the live desktop off.

    I tried doing that with Mesh, but I couldn't find some way to make it LAN-only.

    I don't want it trying to sync files when I'm, say, on campus. I'll take a look at SynToy, though. Thank you.

    s3rial one on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm pretty sure Dropbox does some magic and does direct syncs between computers on LAN connections. But yeah, that's out of the question if you can't have this stuff in the cloud.

    iFolder is an open source Dropbox type thing. It's developed by Novell, so it's presumably a bit more than a CS class project. ;-) I've never used it, and I don't know how hard it is to set up, but it might be what you want.

    Edit: Whoops. The server software only runs on Linux. I suppose you could run it in VirtualBox, but that's probably more trouble to set up than you were looking for. VM Appliance link

    Frem on
  • Mustachio JonesMustachio Jones jerseyRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I tried to do this recently, and ended up using Synctoy in conjunction with dropbox. It was the only real solution I could think of, and apply, with any real success.

    Basically I set it up so that Synctoy would only mess with things that changed. Each machine had two folders, the parent folder, and the Dropbox folder. With synctoy, I set it up so that any time a file was modified in the parent folder, it was replicated to the drop box folder, which was shared between the two machines in question. So whenever something in the dropbox folder was changed, it would replicate itself to the parent folder.

    Synctoy's schedule set up (windows Task Scheduler) doesn't allow for a "detect on LAN" option, which is what I wanted in the first place. Having to go through a third party wasn't necessarily at all what I wanted to do, much like you, but as I said, it's really the only thing I could find that was free, reliable, and easy.

    I brought this up a while back, and this was all that really was decided on. Directory junctions work pretty well too, but I found myself wanting redundancies, because I was dealing with my writing.


    edit:

    You could use network drives and synctoy, it's just a matter of task scheduler not having a "launch application on detection of [device] on network"

    Mustachio Jones on
  • s3rial ones3rial one Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It's really sort of staggering to find that such a simple tool doesn't really exist.

    SyncToy is, well, just like you guys described. I also tried Mesh again, but all it seems to do is crap shortcuts all over my desktop. E.g. even though I have my wallpapers in c:\Users\Mike\Pictures\Wallpaper on both PCs, it doesn't actually sync them. It just copies them from one PC to a desktop folder on the other.

    s3rial one on
  • Mustachio JonesMustachio Jones jerseyRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    If there's any sort of pattern to how you move around to and from your network, you could set task scheduler to run Synctoy at specific times of the day. Every day at noon, I have it set to sync across my network. If I'm there, cool, it does its thing. If not, it just fails out and that's that.

    Mustachio Jones on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/

    Not real time, but the most configurable I've found when you need to move large files point to point if you don't mind messing around with it. I've not found a good automated solution yet.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    can't you pause dropbox syncing when you leave home with the laptop?

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  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    This is actually one of the reasons I downsized to a single 15" Macbook Pro instead of my old desktop + Macbook. I hated trying to keep my desktop and laptop synced up. I just ended up using my laptop for everything, because I couldn't exactly take my desktop with me to class every day. Having a laptop and running automated backups when home is a lot easier, IMO.

    I realize my reply contains no real advice. But, this thread was started over three years ago, so... meh.

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    Things have gotten slightly better in the past three years. Now there's a lot of small Git-based tools such as SparkleShare and DVCS-Autosync. I doubt they're better than Unison, though.

    I can't believe that nobody's built a little zeroconfig based app that monitors directory changes and runs unison yet. Super easy weekend project [/famous last words]

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Frem wrote: »
    Things have gotten slightly better in the past three years. Now there's a lot of small Git-based tools such as SparkleShare and DVCS-Autosync. I doubt they're better than Unison, though.

    I can't believe that nobody's built a little zeroconfig based app that monitors directory changes and runs unison yet. Super easy weekend project [/famous last words]

    That's not really the problem. The problem is you don't want to run your entire Unison profile each time - you'd like to run it with just a single path statement, which I'm not sure is so easy to do.

    The other issue is of course, that automated hands off syncing is how all data loss stories start.

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