Difference between revisions of "Sync laptop desktop"

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Revision as of 04:30, 1 March 2014

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Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Sync laptop desktop#)

Keeping laptop in sync

Ever since I acquired a laptop, I thought about how to keep my laptop up to date with my home computer, and vice versa. You cannot just cp one image to the other, for many reasons. For example, some files simply have to differ on both machines, and sometimes there are updates on one computer, and updates on the other computer.

Solutions

Unison

URL: Unison

http://caml.inria.fr/about/successes-images/unison.jpg

This is my favorite solution, and I absolutely love it. I have tried a lot of tools, but this one beats them all hand down. It is easy to configure, and yet still secure and flexible.

You need to have ssh on both machines, and unison installed on both machines (your laptop and desktop). Then with a few simple commands you can synchronise directories, and in a GUI you can select which things you wish to have synchronised and which not. You can also resolve conflicts.

I use the following scripts:

~/.unison/electra.prf (My laptop)

root = /home/hugo
root = ssh://pyros//home/hugo
follow = Path school
include common

~/.unison/pyros.prf (My desktop)

root = /home/hugo
root = ssh://electra//home/hugo
follow = Path school
include common

~/.unison/common

ignore = Regex .*(cache|Cache|te?mp|history|thumbnails).*
ignore = Name sylpheed.log*
ignore = Name unison.log
ignore = Name .ICEauthority
ignore = Name .Xauthority
ignore = Path {.songinfo,.radinfo}
ignore = Path .adesklets
ignore = Path .Azureus
ignore = Path .forward
ignore = Path adesklets
ignore = Path .ethereal
ignore = Path .sheep
ignore = Path .xinitrc
ignore = Path .config
ignore = Path .xscreensaver
ignore = Path .xawtv
ignore = Path .radio
ignore = Path .forward
ignore = Path .dc++
ignore = Path .quodlibet
ignore = Path .tvtime
ignore = Path .config/graveman
ignore = Path .xmodmap
ignore = Path .java
ignore = Path .tvlist*
ignore = Path .thumbnails
ignore = Path .ssh
ignore = Path .viminfo
ignore = Path .vim/tmp
ignore = Path Desktop
ignore = Path .wine*
ignore = Path motion
ignore = Path src/ufobot/test_pipe
ignore = Path tmp
ignore = Path local
ignore = Path books
ignore = Path .mozilla/firefox/*/Cache*
ignore = Path .liferea/cache
ignore = Path .liferea/mozilla/liferea/Cache
ignore = Path .sylpheed-*/*.bak
ignore = Path .sylpheed-*/folderlist.xml*
ignore = Path .liferea/new_subscription
ignore = Path .mozilla/firefox/pluginreg.dat
ignore = Path .mozilla/firefox/*/lock
ignore = Path .mozilla/firefox/*/XUL.mfasl
ignore = Path .mozilla/firefox/*/xpti.dat
ignore = Path .mozilla/firefox/*/cookies.txt
ignore = Path .xbindkeysrc
ignore = Path .unison/ar*
ignore = Path .gaim/icons
ignore = Path .gaim/blist.xml
ignore = Path .asoundrc
ignore = Path .maillog
ignore = Path .openoffice2/.lock

As you can see, I have two different profiles, one for when I run from my laptop, and one for when I run from my desktop. I posted my files here as example, they are nowhere essential for your configuration.

I made bash aliases for quick usage. One example is:

alias unisync="unison-gtk2 electra -contactquietly -logfile /dev/null"

Meaning I startup unisync using profile 'electra', for when I am on my laptop.

I also have a line in ~/Desktop/autostart to automate the process for me when I am home and want to sync with my laptop:

xterm -e 'ping -q -W 2 -c 2 pyros &&
unison-gtk2 electra -contactquietly -logfile /dev/null &&
gxmessage -buttons no:0,yes:1  Syncing done. Shutdown pyros? ||
ssh pyros sudo halt' &

Caveats

- You can also use this tool with NFS shares, but I found that that is slower, because using the ssh solution it asks the other side to check for updates, and thus not requiring network traffic for that part of the syncing process.

- In the case you are using a ssh port different from the default (22), for example 1022, use this line in your prf file: sshargs = -p 1022

- If you are using symbolic links and want to synchronise your files on a vfat system (usb key for example), unison will not accept them and generate errors. You cannot just tell unison you do not want symbolic links, you have to name them all. To find them on your system, you can run "find ~/folder -type l"

rsync

rsync

rdiff-backup

I used to use this tool with the following backup script:

#!/bin/sh

mount /bak
#mount /boot
mount /mnt/win

rdiff-backup \
   --exclude-regexp 'cache$' \
   --exclude-regexp '(?i)/te?mp$' \
   --exclude /mnt \
   --exclude /vol \
   --exclude /bak \
   --exclude /usr/media \
   --exclude /usr/media/misc \
   --exclude /usr/lib \
   --exclude /tmp \
   --exclude /var/dl \
   --exclude /var/spool \
   --exclude /var/cache \
   --exclude /proc \
   --exclude /dev \
   --exclude /sys \
/ /bak/sys

echo "----------------------------------------"
echo " * Listing increments of backup"
echo "----------------------------------------"
rdiff-backup --list-increments /bak/sys

echo ""
echo "----------------------------------------"
echo " * Removing backups older than 5 Weeks"
echo "----------------------------------------"
rdiff-backup --force --remove-older-than 5W /bak/sys

##Force is necessary because:
#Fatal Error: Found 2 relevant increments, dated:
#Sat Apr 10 12:39:24 2004
#Sat Apr 17 04:15:01 2004
#If you want to delete multiple increments in this way, use the --force.

echo ""
echo "----------------------------------------"
echo " * Disk usage after backup"
echo "----------------------------------------"
df -h

umount /bak
#umount /boot
umount /mnt/win