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Date:      Wed, 16 Oct 2013 14:25:47 +0300
From:      Jarmo Hurri <>
Subject:   Re: Dropbox alternative
Message-ID:  <>
References:  <> <> <20131015194632.GB1705@treefort> <>

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yudi v <> writes:

> Out of all the options presented so far, Unison is the one that
> closely matches my needs. It's bidirectional, runs on different
> platforms (not mobile), and can be used with SSH.

> Most other options listed here are of server/client design, they have
> their strengths but my main priority is to reduce the risk of data
> loss to the absolute minimum.


My situation is not identical to yours, but there are similarities, so I
am offering my 2 cents. The following is most certainly much, much more
hassle than any prepackaged system, but I am pleased with the result as
far as risk of losing data is concerned, and you did state that your
main priority was to reduce the risk of data loss to "the absolute

I had to make similar decisions some time ago. I read about unison, but
did not consider it to be industrial strength (tm), so decided to avoid
it. I ended up doing the following:

- One of my devices is a primary device from which I take backups using
  rsync. One of these backups is to a local NAS, another to a remote
  site (I sincerely think that one backup must be physically separated
  because of fire risks etc.). The local rsync keeps a history using the
  option --link-dest:

  The remote rsync is to a machine with ZFS keeping a history of 7 days
  with snapshots.

- Rsync has no idea of user actions, so I do not use it to keep the
  different devices syncronized. It could not handle file corruption. I
  use a version control system to keep _valuable_ data syncronized:
  version control knows user actions, and I can access a previous state
  if something becomes corrupted. I use git, but it could be something
  else as well. Data is on devices in local repositories, and they share
  a common remote repository. This remote repo could be anywhere. Some
  of my remote repos are on github, some of them are elsewhere. I have
  one repo for system configuration, one for emails, one for a book I am
  writing etc.

  Most of my valuable data is text, since at work I use LaTeX, and most
  of my other stuff is in org mode:

  I synchronize the git repos explicitly (manually), but do have some
  scripts to help the task. For example, one script goes through all git
  repos and reports if they are not in sync with the remote repo.

- Data that is not critical - e.g., music - is not in version
  control. Such data I upload initially to my primary device, from which
  it is rsynced to backups, and then I pull it to other machines from
  the backup if I need it.

Have fun!


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