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Re: [vox-tech] synchronizing several computers
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Re: [vox-tech] synchronizing several computers

On Thu, Sep 27, 2001 at 11:05:02AM -0700, Aaron King wrote:
> Greetings fellow linux users!
> On any given day, I work with several linux computers (a desktop at
> home, one laptop, two or three at work, all connected by ethernet or
> DSL).  It is a constant hassle making sure that the data on the several
> computers is up-to-date.  There is mail, address book, appointment
> calendar, source code, data pertaining to several ongoing projects,
> etc.  I am wondering if anyone knows the best way to keep everything
> synchronized.
> I have tried sitecopy and rsync but they require that I keep track of
> all the files or directories I have modified, and on which computers, in
> my feeble little brain.  I have seen there is something called rdist but
> have heard nothing about its reputation.
> I suppose the most important features are ease of use and security.
> Does anyone have any suggestions?
> I'd be grateful for any advice you can give.

IMHO you should absolutely not use NFS except within a firewalled private
LAN. Its history of security is, well, checkered ;-). NFS also copes poorly
with disconnected operation (down DSL link, unplugged notebook).

My suggestions:

1. Manually sync most files with rsync. It is a very powerful for
   mirroring / mirroring / copying and does not require you to keep track of
	modified files if used properly. You will need to do a little reading; it
	is a bit complex to work. It works over SSH too.

2. Keep address books and mail on one host and access on others via IMAP.
   I have heard good things about the client prog called Althea.

3. As an alternate to #1, share files using Coda, a network filesystem
   designed to cope with disconnected operation. To keep it secure you should
	probably set a a virtual private network over and SSH tunnel.

4. As an alternate to #3, keep documents that are to be shared in CVS. That
   way changed are logged and you can recover from errors --- a useful
	capability indeed. CVS is hard to grok completely but there are GUI
	frontends for the nongurus.

What do I do? Well I have no home computer other than my notebook. I ssh into
my work machine to work with email and copy (scp) files manually to and from
the notebook as needed. Works fine so far since I don't do a lot of serious
work away from the office. At the office the half-dozen or so machines share
files via NFS. All are protected by a firewall.

Henry House
OpenPGP key available from http://romana.hajhouse.org/hajhouse.asc

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