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14386Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Networking

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  • James D Strandboge
    Aug 3, 2002
      On Sat, 2002-08-03 at 13:05, Juergen Mueller wrote:
      > Hi Thomas,
      > > 5. another option would probably lie in coda, which is an advanced
      > > networking filesystem with offline support and such and such, but I
      > > don't know how far the development has gone there and I have never
      > > tried it.
      > Did anyone on this list try this? I wanted to ask this before, since a
      > colleague of mine (XP ONLY user) always smiles at me saying that Linux
      > doesn't have this "offline folder" support that XP has...

      The problem is a very simple one. Basically when you save something,
      you want it saved in two places, otherwise called a 'mirror'. The
      problem with network filesystems like samba and nfs (and the others) is
      that the files ultimately reside on one computer. You requested that
      the laptop and desktop always be in sync, no matter which is doing the
      writing. Some of the other network filesystems have cache's and the
      like that you can use in offline mode, but you never cache the entire
      filesystem, just what you have already opened, so these will be

      I don't know how XP does this, but Linux most certainly has this
      functionality-- it is called rsync. You can do this securely with ssh
      too and it is a great tool. Of course, to make it all transparent, you
      need to play with it and run it from cron and/or from an init script
      (either on shutdown or boot).

      Off the top of my head, I would suggest running rsync as part of the
      shutdown and startup sequence of the laptop, or whenever the network is
      coming up or down on your home LAN. This way, whenever you make changes
      to your laptop, when you shutdown, they are automatically saved to the
      desktop (laptop is source and desktop is destination). If you make
      changes on the desktop, they will be merged to the laptop on boot
      (desktop is source and laptop is destination). Read the man page for
      rsync-- there are a lot of options. One I can say you will definitely
      want to use is '-u'. This means that something that is older on the
      source computer won't overwrite something that is newer on the
      destination computer.

      As far as making changes on both at the same time, you may want to bring
      a network filesystem like (like nfs) into the fold in addition to using
      rsync, since it is designed to handle files being changed by multiple
      users concurrently. This would seem to be an odd case for your
      situation based on the description.

      This 'offline folder mode' that XP has I doubt would come close to
      giving you the flexibility that rsync has. Regardless, you can smile
      back at your buddy and say that Linux most definitely can do this.

      Jamie Strandboge
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