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Old 11-17-2008, 07:37 PM   #1
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Timestamps, VSFTP, Samba & files edited on a server

This has to do with coordination between external workers FTPing files, which are then edited on the server in the local network. We're all in Pacific time, and as soon as the file is edited on the server and saved, its timestamp is shifted 8 hours later for FTP clients & Windows users looking at the Samba share. Yet when I shell in & look at the dates, they display the current & correct time.

Here's what happens: anyone puts a file on the server at 11:05. Someone in the local network edits and saves that file five minutes later and its timestamp shows to all FTP clients and Samba shares as 19:10. My shell into the same directory shows a timestamp correctly as 11:10.

I found a previous post & tried including use_localtime=YES in /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf & restarting, but that had no effect.

It's making it confusing to coordinate. Any ideas for a newbie? Thanks.
Old 11-21-2008, 08:05 AM   #2
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Why use times at all?

Not sure how to fix the software issue you apparently have with VSFTPD / samba, but how about using version numbers?

I. e. if anybody edits the file they just increase the file number. A file that is newly ftp'ed in is numbered 0, a file that has been edited in the local intranet is numbered 1...

Or you can try CVS - its free and works well. It allows users to check out files, and then check them back in - when they check back in (cvs "commit" command) the file automatically gets an incremented version number?
Old 11-21-2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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Thanks Stephan

Thanks Stefan, (sorry I goofed your name in the title!)

In essence manual versioning with a file name is what the journalists who use this system do now.

It's really just an annoyance for a couple specific use-cases. For instance, a writer's out on the road and puts up a copy of his file on the server, comes into the office, edits the file on the server, then works from home. Looking at the server version of the file and the copy it on his laptop, he has to stop and think because the server file's timestamp is odd. When the writer's on a deadline, that extra step introduces frustration, it being one extra thing to think about.

I'll look into CVS to see if formal versioning's a good fit for non-technical people. Might be nice for them to have a history of changes.
Old 11-24-2008, 01:10 PM   #4
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I assume that all FTP-clients and Samba share viewing with the shifted timestamp are on Windows PC's. Maybe this is just another 'smart' Windows feature with unintended results.

Do Linux-based FTP-clients and samba share viewers also have this time shift anomaly?

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 05:09 PM.


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