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Data Storage Desktops (Apple) Media Software

Synchronize Data Between Linux, OS X, and Windows? 305

aaaaaaargh! writes "I'm using a laptop with Ubuntu 8.04 for work, a netbook with Ubuntu 9.10 when I'm outside, Mac OS X 10.5 for hobby projects, and Windows XP for gaming. For backups, I'm currently using Jungle Disk and Apple's Time Machine, and I use a local svn repository for my work data. Now I need to frequently exchange and synchronize OpenOffice and Latex files and source code in various cross-platform programming languages between one machine and another. Options range from putting everything online (but Jungle Disk disks seem to be too slow for anything else than backup), storing my data on external media like USB sticks or SD cards, or working with copies by synchronizing folders over the network. I don't want to give my data away to some server outside without strong encryption (controlled by me, including the source code) and external media like USB sticks are a bit too fragile according to my taste. The solution should be reliable, relatively failsafe, as simple as possible, and allow me to continue to use Jungle Disk for backup. So what would you recommend?"
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Synchronize Data Between Linux, OS X, and Windows?

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  • Rsync? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misanthrope ( 49269 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:33PM (#30163932)

    Set up one computer as a server and rsync/ssh to it with either a cron job or at your whim.

    • Exactly.

      I use deltacopy on my windows boxes with a linux server.

      All of the data is synced and gets transferred once a month for backup.

    • Re:Rsync? (Score:5, Informative)

      by frodo from middle ea ( 602941 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:42PM (#30165108) Homepage
      Better yet, Setup ZFS on a opensolaris box, export the ZFS volume as NFS/Samba share or as an iSCSI target, access from Linux,Solaris,Windows etc.
      ZFS can also do compression, and automatic snapshots, not to mention rock solid data integrity with raidz2
      • data integrity - check
      • remote access - check
      • automated incremental backups - check
      • No limitations of software raid neither the need for expensive hardware raid - check
      • Dead Simple to Use - check

      Seriously what more do you want from a storage/backup solution ?

      • Re:Rsync? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @07:35PM (#30165868)

        Better yet, Setup ZFS on a opensolaris box, export the ZFS volume as NFS/Samba share or as an iSCSI target, access from Linux,Solaris,Windows etc.

        Note that newer releases of OpenSolaris have built-in kernel support for CIFS with ZFS.

          # zfs set sharesmb=on mypool/mydata
          # zfs set sharenfs=on mypool/mydata

        Mapping between Unix UIDs and Windows SIDs is done transparently, and you can change things from the Windows GUI if desired and the ACLs will go live on the Unix side as well: SIDs are first class security objects. None of the usual Samba UID/SID kludginess (though (Open)Solaris comes with a Samba package if you want to go that route.)

        Case-(in)sensitivity is also a user toggle away if so desired.

        De-dupe was also recently committed to the code base. Crypto is being worked on and I think patches are available.

      • Re:Rsync? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @09:06PM (#30166908)

        Except it didn't exactly answer his question. He appears to favor local storage. Ha already has a backup solution and if he wanted a snetwork share, I'm pretty sure anyone running the 3 major OSes can figure out how to share a drive via NFS/AFP/SMB.

        For a home user, ZFS's big achilles is the inability to change raidz geometry. Most home users add another drive to increase capacity, *not* another raidz of drives into a pool. Nor do they typically want to replace all their raidz drives with larger drives. ZFS fails on that particular common home storage scenario. Everyone knows it and it's been talked about to death. And btrfs is looking better every day.

        The answer he's looking for is probably some form of rsync or unison solution. Depends on the complexity of his syncing. And if he needs/wants some form of version control. He knows how to use SVN so he's probably not needing version control.

        I'm curious too; I have to keep local assets for CGI apps in sync on a few different systems and rsync is the best I've come up with. You can't drop extra files into the asset directory structure and you can't rely on their state to tell you anything about the need to sync.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by illumin8 ( 148082 )

        Better yet, Setup ZFS on a opensolaris box, export the ZFS volume as NFS/Samba share or as an iSCSI target, access from Linux,Solaris,Windows etc.

        None of those protocols were designed to work well over the public internet. Sure, NFS/SMB/iSCSI are IP protocols but they don't work well over high latency and low bandwidth connections.

        I'm not arguing with your choice of ZFS; I would just look at something more simple like rsync over ssh to a ZFS volume instead of sharing NFS/CIFS/SMB/iSCSI out to the Internet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jhol13 ( 1087781 )

        Better yet, use Mercurial (or any other distributed version control system). It is designed for this kind of use!

        I have three clones (of a project), one in desktop, one in laptop and one in an USB stick. Just "pull" (or "push") and "commit". Sometimes a "merge". With network connectivity you do not need the USB stick (in my case it is just a bit easier).

        Should any of those clones/repositories die it would not be a big problem.

        Note: this is not a backup solution, this is a solution to sync the machines!

    • Re:Rsync? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Shikaku ( 1129753 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:59PM (#30165404)

      luckybackup is a gui for rsync and allows you to sync folders.

      I use it to quickly backup everything. It doesn't allow versioning, but I use squashfs-tools to remove all redundant files and compress them with lzma. So I have a folder system of dates for versioning in a highly compressed squashfs file system container, that's mountable.

      sudo apt-get install luckybackup squashfs-tools

  • Unison (Score:5, Informative)

    by samuraiz ( 1026486 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:33PM (#30163944)

    I like Unison [] for this sort of thing.

    • Re:Unison (Score:5, Informative)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:01PM (#30164512) Homepage

      I second the suggestion. It's basically like rsync except it's more like real synchronization. What I mean is, AFAIK with rsync you basically have to say, "Sync folder A and folder B by assuming that folder A is the copy I want to keep, and changing only folder B." With Unison, on the other hand, you can say, "Sync folders A and B by keeping track of when files get modified, and keeping the most recent version of each file. If a file has been modified in both folders since my last sync, let me know and ask me what to do."

      One minor annoyance is the project page links to an OSX version that includes a Cocoa interface, and that's kind of a pain if you want to script it to run in the background. Even if you call it from the command line, the GUI will still open up. Also, if you install it from MacPorts, it doesn't do a good job of maintaining resource forks. Of course, if you're syncing to Linux or Windows, you might not care about resource forks.

      I think the best place to get the OSX version is here: link []

      It's been a while since I've downloaded it, though.

      • Isn't that a distributed vcs?
        • Sort of, but I'd hesitate to call it that. It's very simple, both in that it's easy to use and that it doesn't handle much complexity.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jhol13 ( 1087781 )

            So why bother? Why not use distributed VCS?

            They are quite easy (to learn), they handle merges apparently much better, they give version history, rollback, branches, etc. After all, the OP was using SVN.

        • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

          No. It doesn't do rollbacks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I use Unison to synchronize data between 5 user accounts across 3 computers, all running Mac OS X, and I'm very happy with it. I set up a LaunchAgent from each of the user accounts to automatically run a Unison profile periodically, and that profile can also be run from the GUI tool if so desired.
        The Cocoa interface can be disabled if you're writing a script to run in the background. There is a "-ui text" flag to the command line tool (/usr/local/bin/unison) that will prevent the Cocoa GUI from being show
    • Re:Unison (Score:4, Informative)

      by McPint ( 127046 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:05PM (#30164576) Journal

      I cannot say whether unison is the best solution, but it is one that I have been using for 7 years or more, between two desktops (home and work), a laptop an external hard drive and another offsite backup. These were on a variety of filesystems between Linux and Windows flavours. MacOS X should be no different.

      While I have seen graphical interfaces to unison, the command line interface is so much easier to use.

      I would definitely recommend unison... while it is not a revision control system it is an effective solution at working on the same set of files wherever you are provided you synchronise twice a day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Agreed - but if rsync works fits, it is preferable.

      That said, the constraints where rsync works flawlessly are pretty strict:

      1. You always rsync down at the start of a session
      2. You always rsync up at the end of a session
      3. You never have more than 1 session

      Just make sure you use the best settings - don't forget --delete or whatever it is to handle removed directories.

      Unison works much better due to its 2-way change propogation, but it is only designed to handle 2 sources of documents, not 3.

      I've never had

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by samuraiz ( 1026486 )

        Unison works much better due to its 2-way change propogation, but it is only designed to handle 2 sources of documents, not 3.

        I sync between 3 computers using a hub-and-spoke system. My file server is the hub; my desktop and laptop both sync only with the file server.

      • I think you can use more than 2 sources of documents, but you basically need to treat one server as your master. So if I have 4 computers, I think I can pick 1 computer as the master and sync the other 3 with it, which will keep all 4 in sync.

        You have some choices in handling resolution. I don't know what it checks to determine when a file has been changed, but it keeps some kind of database to keep track of which files have been synced where. During a normal sync, it compares the changes since the last

    • by richg74 ( 650636 )
      I will also recommend Unison. I've been using it to synch files / directories among Linux and Windows machines, and it works great.
    • this is what I would suggest, too!
    • by pjl5602 ( 150416 )

      I use Unison too and love it (Mac, Linux, FreeBSD and Windows.) However, it does not handle Windows ACLs. Does anybody have a solution for this?

    • Re:Unison (Score:5, Informative)

      by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @07:03PM (#30165450) Homepage

      I agree, unison is great. I used unison for several years to sync machines. It worked great for linux-linux, and seemed to mostly work for linux-mac/mac-linux syncs as well. The main problem was with resource forks causing a bunch of ._foo files, but there's not too much you can do about that if you're copying data from HFS+ to something else. It's been a while since I used unison (I gave up my desktop, and now only use a laptop.), but seems like unison has the ability to actually merge files by fire off something like meld [] to resolve conflicts. That's a big win.

    • Holy crap, my professor wrote that. I've been using it for years without even realizing it...

    • I second Unison. A "tiny" problem if you're using Unison: It can mess up filenames that have non-ASCII characters.

      That problem is mentioned all over the net, what's not mentioned is that the problem stems from transfers across different OSs.

      A suggestion that might be a work-around : Sync Windows to a smb share, and use unison locally on that directory.

      I am not using windows, so I'm fine. But, I also can't guarantee that my suggestion works.

  • dropbox? (Score:5, Informative)

    by kperrier ( 115199 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:34PM (#30163954)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rinoid ( 451982 ) *
      The two posts above are my two suggestions. ssh+rsync and/or
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by koick ( 770435 )

      I don't want to give my data away to some server outside without strong encryption

      Use dropbox with a Truecrypt encrypted container as the file which gets synchronized.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dc2447 ( 920780 )
      Of course when someone steals your laptop which is syncing to dropbox, the data is theirs. You can unlink updates to the stolen device but the data is gone. I'd love a remote wipe facility.
      • by teg ( 97890 )

        Of course when someone steals your laptop which is syncing to dropbox, the data is theirs. You can unlink updates to the stolen device but the data is gone. I'd love a remote wipe facility.

        You think you want it. If you think a bit more, you realize it will only help for the scenario where the thief has the password to your account, can log in, dropbox then runs and the computer has a network connection. It won't do anything to protect your data against just reading the hard disk as a super user or from a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nametaken ( 610866 )

      Dropbox is good up to a few gigs, but their pay service is expensive per GB. I presently use it with SyncToy (scheduled) to keep stuff up-to-date between machines... but only for a small set of important stuff.

      For larger things, the OP's selection of Jungledisk is far more cost effective... and if speed is an issue I wonder if he/she knows that Jungledisk backends to EITHER Rackspace or Amazon. They should try the other.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times ( 778537 )
        There's also the question of whether you really want to store things online. If I want to sync a few MBs of documents, syncing over the Internet to a server might be fine. On the other hand, if I want to keep 100 GB synced between two computers on the same network, pushing that over a 512k Internet connection just to download it again might be less than ideal.
    • by rrwood ( 27261 )

      Dropbox is fantastic! It's definitely not a subversion respository, though it does support versions of files if you're willing to pay for that feature.

      I finally ponied up the money for a paying account yesterday after having used it daily for about a year now....

  • USB sticks are a bit too fragile

    damn straight. that is the number one problem with USB anything. i've seen more broken jump drives, and more broken usb ports from someone tripping over usb cable, than i care to fix. yes, they ARE handy as can be, but to WHOMEVER is designing USB 4 or whatever it will be called, PLEASE make the damn connection more sturdy.

    • With the price of USB sticks today you could just buy 10: use 1 to carry around in your pocket, put another one in an unused port on your main machine and put a script in a cronjob to synchronize regularly. If it breaks replace the main with the backup and plug a new one in the backup slot.

    • Or make it like the Apple quick release power port
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WHOMEVER is designing USB 4 or whatever it will be called, PLEASE make the damn connection more sturdy.

      They should make the connection more fragile, not more sturdy. The components should be sturdy, but if you design them to easily separate, things like tripping over the cable will cause little to no physical damage.

      Apple's MagSafe power adapter is a good example of this. You can trip over the power as much as you want and it just disconnects. But neither the cord nor the laptop is damaged in any way and you're free to simply plug it in again and continue working. This should be the goal of every computer co

  • Dropbox (Score:5, Informative)

    by rtobyr ( 846578 ) <.toby. .at.> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:39PM (#30164084) Homepage [] will give you 2gb of free space. It'll keep all files in your "dropbox folder" synchronized on all computers where it is installed. It works on Linux, Mac, and Windows. A video on installing Dropbox on Linux from The Linux Journal's Shawn Powers is here: []
  • by aclarke ( 307017 ) <spam.clarke@ca> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:40PM (#30164122) Homepage
    Three options that I use, or have used, are rsync, Chronosync [] and Jungle Disk.

    Jungle Disk is the best solution if you have more money than time and can rely on being online a reasonably good percentage of the time. In the Jungle Disk settings, you can specify a certain portion of your disk to be used as an offline cache. Jungle Disk will then keep downloaded files in that disk cache, so you don't have to worry about the download speed so much, assuming you have the disk space available for the cache. If you don't have the disk space you'll need an online solution anyway.

    Chronosync is Mac-based, but you can set it up to sync your files with your Windows and Linux computers. I recently bought it and haven't been through all its features yet, but I'm pretty sure it will do everything you need it to for about $40.

    Rsync is of course great if you have the time and expertise to set it up. If you want to take the time to learn how it works, it's probably the best solution. OTOH I think Chronosync will do 99% of what rsync will do (from what I've seen) and is easier so I felt like the purchase price of Chronosync was worth it to me.
  • by tomz16 ( 992375 )

    Pick the laptop that you travel with (perhaps between home and work). Store all shared data on it. Samba mount that directory on the OS you are currently using (all of the OS's you list support samba).

    You can work on your data on that laptop while on the move... but when you are using another computer (e.g. desktop) that laptop just effectively serves as an external disk. As long as you use GigE, there is no performance drop over a single locally-attached disk.

    As an added benefit, you can backup this d

  • by frooddude ( 148993 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:45PM (#30164202)

    Unison from UPenn []

    Works on all the platforms you mentioned... It can synchronize 2 disparate directory trees (you made updates to files A, B, C on one system and D, E, F on another system and want to merge them) and when it can't figure out what to do it asks you.

  • SVN+SSH (Score:3, Informative)

    by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:46PM (#30164208) Homepage

    Set up one computer as a master repository and do everything over SVN+SSH.

    Its what I do for the complete working set I have, passing between 3+ systems, is everything is through subversion over SSH to a backed-up system.

    • by rvw ( 755107 )

      Set up one computer as a master repository and do everything over SVN+SSH.

      Read before you post! He is already using SVN. And I think it goes without saying that he knows about SSH.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:46PM (#30164216) Homepage Journal

    Mercurial [] for...

    Windows []

    MacOS []

    For linux it should be in standard repos.

    This way you can make changes on any of your systems and move them around as required, merging only when needed.

  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:48PM (#30164278)

    external media like USB sticks are a bit too fragile according to my taste

    That's because you're using the wrong external media. You're going for new and exciting and not old and reliable. What you need to do is convert all of your data to human-readable binary (you know, 1100110001111 and so on), and chisel it on to large stone tablets. These are extremely resistant to wear, especially if stored with the written side down, and are virtually theft proof (who's going to steal a bunch of 500-pound rocks?).

    You can also easily transfer data from one machine to another either via forklift or just by bringing the machines to the tablets themselves. Backup to Jungle Disk is simple: store a second set of tablets in the Amazon (you can even have a DR site in southeast Asia!), and hire local villagers to update them for you. You should provide a telegraph machine to the villagers to send data back and forth for synchronization purposes. If the telegraph is too unreliable, you can use an elaborate network of smoke signal or semaphore (the thing with the flags) specialists to send data back and forth.

    Encryption may be a little more difficult, but easily solved if you happen to have a couple of old Enigma machines [] sitting around (and really, who doesn't?). If the Enigma machine isn't reliable enough, Little Orphan Annie decoder pins can be used instead.


    • Obviously, you've forgotten your history lessons taught by Mel Brooks: []

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gigoguy ( 909575 )
      My personal experience with tablet-based backup makes me say that the Amazon is a bad idea. I rented a helicopter and tried to store my data stones in the Amazon's clouds... Let me tell you, their cloud platform does not have the stability you are looking floor. 30 seconds after upload, I was left with fragmented, unrecoverable data.
  • by fermion ( 181285 )
    I use SVN with my Latex and files. The only, well known, issue with SVN is iWorks, which may or may not be an issue for this situation. I am told git is functional. I am thinking of migrating to git just because of the local overhead.
    • I second this. It sounds like the poster wants to synchronize his programming projects. In which case, SVN or CVS plus the IDE of his choice is a hands-down winner (and it gets him thinking about version control).

      Then you just need a cross-platform IDE (like Eclipse)

      Now if what the OP wants is to synchronize his user profile, then the best idea is dump everything on a removable drive or a network share that all his machines can access.

    • by Simon80 ( 874052 )
      I already use git to manage any files in my home directory that I want to follow me to different machines, as well as to synchronize source code between machines. The OP is highly encouraged to do it this way, you can do the synchronizing over ssh or rsync. Anyone considering cvs or svn for the same thing should use git instead, otherwise they will be stuck syncing from each machine to their cvs/svn server, and not between machines arbitrarily.
  • SpiderOak (Score:3, Informative)

    by DesertBlade ( 741219 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:57PM (#30164430)
    Been using it for awhile, works great windows, Linux and Mac. Also you don't have to place files in the dropbox folder, you can choose what folders to sync and backup. The also have zero knowledge of your files, which I find reassuring.
  • First off I'd dump the cloud business, get a cheap little box and put a huge hard disk in it. It's cheap, super secure, nobody else owns/controls your data.

    Then I set me up a backuppc server, it's super easy to set up (on ubuntu at least) then have all your machines regularly backing themselves up.

    Backuppc has a very excellent web interface allowing you to request full or incremental backups at any time, and an awesome interface to allow you to push (restore) files to any of the systems you are backing u
  • and external media like USB sticks are a bit too fragile according to my taste. ... So what would you recommend?"

    I would recommend that if you consider USB flash devices too "fragile" then you likely don't have enough good backups. There might be other reasons for not using a flash drive, and there might be other ways to address your need, but if you are concerned that USB drives are too fragile then I suspect that you are setting yourself up for disaster when something other than flash drive failure c

  • Use unison (free) or Super Flexible File Synchronizer (better). Keeping several hosts synchronized is tough because of conflicting changes, temporary files, large stuff you don't want to transfer and moving files. You need a good UI and smart change tracking, which is what these programs provide.

  • If USB sticks seem too fragile for you, you could try an SD card in a USB adapter - slightly larger, but easy to swap the SD card out if the USB connector gets broken. Decent SD cards should last a long time for just moving data around.

  • Dropbox (Score:3, Informative)

    by PhunkySchtuff ( 208108 ) <> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:08PM (#30164634) Homepage []

    "Free for Windows, Mac, and Linux"

    Creates a folder that is kept in sync between different computers. You can share files with other dropbox users too via shared folders. 2GB or so of space is free. It also keeps multiple versions of files so you can go back to a previous version of a file if you need to.

    I don't have any affiliation with the company, other than being a satisfied user.

  • Use one of the many peer-to-peer file control systems like hg, git or even fossil. It's the obvious way to do it:
    • no central server
    • secure
    • backed up
  • Dude you don't need a computer, you need a typewriter. Only thing as safe as you want. Or you could try and use encryption.
  • by Rantastic ( 583764 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:19PM (#30164782) Journal

    I use a local svn repository for my work data. Now I need to frequently exchange and synchronize OpenOffice and Latex files and source code in various cross-platform programming languages between one machine and another.

    Am I missing something here? What doesn't SVN do that you need? Clients exist for all named platforms and it handles OO, Latex, and source code files very well.

  • You didn't google this even a little, did you?

  • Looks like a job for Dropbox, money-throwing included. Word is they're also working on LAN sync, so no need for the data to go to the server and back.
  • I can tell you what I do. I have a Windows 2008 SBS that runs a domain. You should be able to join ubuntu, mac os x, and windows (assuming pro) to it. I also have a single internal file server. You can map directories off of it to mount as home directories using NFS and you can map the Windows 2008 SBS data stores to the file server as well. I'd also enable samba on the file server so you can simply mount the shares when needed. When you need to access them outside of your network, I'd set up the VPN
    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      Not very cost effective for a home user, considering the cost of a Win 2008 or MSDN license. I could buy a reasonable NAS for that price.

  • Does JungleDisk provide SSH access to your data? ExpanDrive easily mounts S/FTP, SSH, etc. in Windows (as a mapped drive) and Mac (as a mount point in Finder).
  • by Temujin_12 ( 832986 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:49PM (#30165216)

    On a somewhat related note, my wife recently gave up on backing up to a different medium all together and now just builds backup into her work flow. She is a photographer and takes 50,000+ digital photos a year (in raw TIFF format). Each file is ~70MB so she requires several terabytes of storage. Loosing these images is unacceptable (ie: would result in a financial loss) and ripping to DVD for backup is simply impossible (would require a full time job in and of itself).

    So she builds backup into her work flow such that at any one point in time she has at least one copy of the image spread across multiple drives. In the work flow, photos go from raw TIFF -> PSD pre-proccess -> PSD final -> JPEG for online viewing and she uses different drives for each stage in the process. That way, if a drive goes out, she only looses time, not data. For data retention requirements (~2-3 years), she just has ~10 TB of storage and rotates files from older jobs out onto other drives (spreading across 3 - drives as per the work flow).

    Of course if something catastrophic were to happen to cause all of the drives to die (since they are all in the same location) then files would be lost, but that's what insurance is for.

  • I've tried Dropbox and SpiderOak. I think I've settled on SpiderOak for now, since it is cheaper per MB and offers really nice, granular controls. For example, I can sync specific sets of data between different computers and backup some computers without syncing them to others at all (unlike Dropbox which syncs everything to everyone). Like Dropbox, you get 2GB free with no purchase necessary and the client automatically encrypts data in such a way that allegedly the company cannot decrypt it without you pr

  • I don't want to give my data away to some server outside without strong encryption

    Man, no one reads anymore!

    Depending upon how much work and money you're willing to expend, you might check out Tarsnap []. It's not going to have a pretty GUI or anything, and you'll need Cygwin to get it running on Windows, but it's got pretty much everything you want.

    It's snapshotting, so you only transfer small changes.
    It encrypts (and it does so on the client, before sending it to the server) and the source code to the client is available for review. Unfortunately, the terms of use for the Tarsnap server

  • NAS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Friday November 20, 2009 @01:58PM (#30173870)

    I looked into this problem myself, and it isn't pretty. I use a Windows box for everyday stuff, a Linux based server, and my Sister uses a Mac.

    Basically I had the idea that I wanted to share some Anime videos with my Sister who also enjoys the TV shows. Anyway originally my idea was to buy an external USB HD, copy the files and then give her the HD, this way she also gets a new external HD out of the deal. However when I looked into it, not as simple as I thought. While most external drives are compatible with Mac or PC, the emphasis is on "OR". Usually they are formatted differently and are not compatible with the other once formatted.

    The only other solutions I could find were to use a NAS (Networked Attached Storage), and this would work, because you would be using the network protocol to translate the data between OS, SMB I think it is called. Anyway at the time, they were very expensive and still are to a degree however they have come down in price more recently and I have seen solutions out there for 200-300$ range. Which is still more than I wanted to spend as an external HD only runs you about 100-200$.

    I settled for the getto version and just spent the time and burned like 10 8GB DVD-R's as it was easiest. However for a continual solution, this would not work. I would say your only choice is some sort of NAS with SMB. I am sure given the time and know how you could also build your own linux box to do the same thing, but for price it likely depends if you have an extra kicking around someplace. Either could likely be set up for remote FTP. I would recommend just buying a NAS, likely simpler that way.

  • Two options for you (Score:3, Informative)

    by plazman30 ( 531348 ) on Friday November 20, 2009 @02:02PM (#30173954) Homepage

    If you're willing to pay, you could use Dropbox. If you keep it under 2 GB, it's free. Anything you drag into your dropbox gets synced to their servers and then synced back down to your other PCs you have linked to your dropbox account.

    If you would prefer a roll your own solution, and are willing to build a server, then go look at Novell's iFolder []


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