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Old 03-28-2016, 10:03 PM   #1
Gregg Bell
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Registered: Mar 2014
Location: Illinois
Distribution: Xubuntu
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Is this the only (the best?) way to sync Box cloud in Xubuntu?


Somebody at LQ said Box cloud synced between computers. I of course thought it would be easy. (Copy cloud and Dropbox were.) And when I clicked on the snyc thing (screenshot 19) I got screenshot 18. Then I checked further and this is about the best thing (which looks pretty hard for a newbie like me!) I could come up with.

http://tutorialforlinux.com/2014/05/...ep-easy-guide/

Is it the way to go or is there something better (and hopefully easier)?

Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:27 PM   #2
joe_2000
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Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Aachen, Germany
Distribution: Void, Debian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Somebody at LQ said Box cloud synced between computers. I of course thought it would be easy. (Copy cloud and Dropbox were.) And when I clicked on the snyc thing (screenshot 19) I got screenshot 18. Then I checked further and this is about the best thing (which looks pretty hard for a newbie like me!) I could come up with.

http://tutorialforlinux.com/2014/05/...ep-easy-guide/

Is it the way to go or is there something better (and hopefully easier)?

Thanks.
Hi Gregg. I do not know this piece of software, but the message you are getting probably means what it says... the problem is on their side, not on yours.
(I am guessing their ssl certificate is invalid or something like this.) If you click on the advanced options you will probably see options to override firefox's choice and still go ahead and connect to their site.

That said, it's probably not a great idea to do that. I sometimes do it for sites where I don't plan to disclose important data, but since you want to use this service for syncing your personal data ... you probably don't want to trust a service that can't even provide a proper ssl connection...
 
Old 03-29-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
joe_2000
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Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Aachen, Germany
Distribution: Void, Debian
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Rep: Reputation: 308Reputation: 308Reputation: 308Reputation: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Is it the way to go or is there something better (and hopefully easier)?

Thanks.
Overlooked this part of the question before. If I remember correctly you are trying to address this syncing thing for a while by now already.
You want to avoid Dropbox / copy.com because people here at LQ recommended against these services for privacy reasons. (Which I agree with).
Do I recall that part correctly?
When you say "syncing between computers" was that on a local network or are you actually looking for a cloud based solution, i.e. one where you can share data between devices that are remote from each other?

If you only want to sync data between two (or more) computers on the same network, I can still recommend unison. I appreciate it looks a bit scary to get started with, but I am happy to guide you through the process of setting it up if you are interested.
 
Old 03-29-2016, 09:25 PM   #4
Gregg Bell
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Registered: Mar 2014
Location: Illinois
Distribution: Xubuntu
Posts: 1,992

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 175Reputation: 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Overlooked this part of the question before. If I remember correctly you are trying to address this syncing thing for a while by now already.
You want to avoid Dropbox / copy.com because people here at LQ recommended against these services for privacy reasons. (Which I agree with).
Do I recall that part correctly?
When you say "syncing between computers" was that on a local network or are you actually looking for a cloud based solution, i.e. one where you can share data between devices that are remote from each other?

If you only want to sync data between two (or more) computers on the same network, I can still recommend unison. I appreciate it looks a bit scary to get started with, but I am happy to guide you through the process of setting it up if you are interested.
Hey joe. Good to see you. I guess I should be more concerned about security. I now have Dropbox. I only have one or two valuable things in there. I'm getting rid of Copy.com. (Because it's closing shop May 1, 2016.) I remember you telling me about Unison before and I found it very interesting back then. Since reading your post I read the Unison page and the wikipedia page on it. If it's not super complicated I would definitely like to give it a shot. Thanks.
 
Old 03-30-2016, 03:13 AM   #5
joe_2000
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Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Aachen, Germany
Distribution: Void, Debian
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Ok, then, can you give us a bit more info on your setup?
How many computer should be synced?
Are they all running Xubuntu? What release? What OS / release otherwise?
Is at least one of them always turned on?
Are they all on the same local network?
 
Old 03-30-2016, 05:37 PM   #6
Gregg Bell
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2014
Location: Illinois
Distribution: Xubuntu
Posts: 1,992

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 175Reputation: 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Ok, then, can you give us a bit more info on your setup?
How many computer should be synced?
Are they all running Xubuntu? What release? What OS / release otherwise?
Is at least one of them always turned on?
Are they all on the same local network?
Hey joe. Only two computers need to be synced and they are both Xubuntu 15.10. A third computer would be nice and it's Bodhi (but not necessary). And all the computers are turned off overnight. And both computers (and I switch the cables on the one Xubuntu if I want to use the Bodhi computer) are wired connections to the same router.

Last edited by Gregg Bell; 03-30-2016 at 05:39 PM. Reason: added bit about router
 
Old 03-30-2016, 07:11 PM   #7
joe_2000
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Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Aachen, Germany
Distribution: Void, Debian
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Hi Gregg, ok, one word of caution upfront: I'll try to give accurate instructions, but please do me (and you) a favor and backup your data to an external drive nevertheless before you start playing with unison.

So let's get started...

Unison does not make use of any cloud service, so whenever you want to sync two computers they both must be turned on. Since you have no computer that is always running I suggest to first create a setup where you trigger the synchronization manually. We can talk about automatization later if you want to.

Since you want to synchronize more than two computers I recommend a "star" setup in the sense that one computer is the server/master and the other two are the clients/slaves. In other words each of the other two client/slave computers always only talks to the server/master, they never talk to each other. The best choice for the server/master would be the computer that is running the most often. I'll refer to this computer as "the server" from now on.

You then need to choose the protocol over which the computers will communicate. Although it is not the fastest I recommend ssh because it is easy to setup, flexible and secure. It also has the advantage that if later down the road you add e.g. a laptop to your setup that wants to connect from outside of your LAN this can also be done securely through ssh.
Should you be unsatisfied with the synchronization speed you can always check alternatives later.
For this to work we need to setup ssh first. On the machine that will be the master as per description above install the package openssh-server:

Code:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
On the other two machines install the ssh client
Code:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ssh
I am assuming you are using the same username on all machines? If you do, you can test if you can connect from both clients to the server by typing:
Code:
ssh <hostname of server>
If you are using different usernames, you'll also need to specify the username of the server with
Code:
ssh <username>@<hostname>
If you do not know the hostname of the server, or if the clients complain about the host not being known please post exact output of the ssh command as well as the output of
Code:
ip addr list
on the server.
If all goes well however you should be prompted for the user password from the server. Once you entered it, you should get a shell on the server.
Now obviously you don't want to type the password everytime you sync your data, but we'll fix that later.

Now install unison on all machines. I'll assume you want a graphical interface to get started, so please run:
Code:
sudo apt-get install unison unison-gtk
on both client machines and
Code:
sudo apt-get install unison
on the server.

Note: It is important that unison has the same major version on all machines.
Run
Code:
unison -version
on all machines and compare the output. It should be something like 2.40.102. Don't worry if the last number does not match, but the first two (2.40) should!

Now choose the directory you actually want to sync. For your first tests, I'd recommend to create a folder only for the sake of testing. Let's call it unison.
So on all machines, run
Code:
mkdir ~/unison
On the master, print the absolute path of the directory created this way and make note of it for later use on the clients:
Code:
cd ~/unison
pwd
(We are intested in the output of the second command here.)

Now let's create the first syncing profile. On one of the clients, run unison. (It should show up somewhere in your start menu. If it doesn't, you can always run
Code:
unison-gtk
In the upcoming dialog, create a new profile with the button that's probably labeled "add" in english. Give it some name and description.
Choose synchronization kind ssh
In the host field type... you guessed it... the server's hostname.
And below the username you are using on the server.

I'd tend to uncheck "enable compression" but you can experiment with this option to check which choice performs better.
Set the local directory to the unison folder you created before.
In the remote directory field, enter the path you found out with the pwd command before.
You probably aren't using FAT partitions so you don't need to check that option. (I am assuming you are using standard Linux file systems. If this is a dualboot machine with Windows this assumption might be wrong! Let me know if you are uncertain.)
Click forward and finally apply.

Ok, you are done with the setup. Put some dummy files into the unison folder on the client computer where you just created the profile.
Then open the newly created profile. It should prompt you for the server's password. Enter it. Say ok to the "No archive files found" warning.

You'll now see the list of operations that unison will perform. You can override the decision unison made for each one by selecting the row and then choosing the desired operation in the toolbar. (Most of the times you want to stick to the default though).
Click "Go" on the upper right and the files should get synced. Check if they are by viewing the contents of the unison folder on the server.

Now create the same profile on the other client computer and run it. Your files should now also be on that client.

Congratulations if you got this far. You would basically be able already to keep the computers in sync now. Everytime you start working on a client, run the syncing profile to pull the latest data from the server. When you are done, run it again to push the updated files. Nothing needs to be done on the server.
If you run into conflicts, unison will ask you how to resolve them.

There are still a couple of rough edges, the setup obviously needs more polishing, but I did not want to throw everything at you at once...
Let me know how this works out and if you have any questions. When you have the above up and running we can setup password-less ssh connection and things like that to make the process more smooth... Good luck!
 
  


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