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New Unison beta-release (2.32)

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  • Benjamin Pierce
    Dear users of Unison, I m pleased to announce a new beta-release, version 2.32. This version fixes a few issues in the old beta-release (2.31). If no new
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2009
      Dear users of Unison,

      I'm pleased to announce a new beta-release, version 2.32. This
      version fixes a few issues in the old beta-release (2.31). If no new
      issues emerge in the next few weeks, it will be promoted to an
      official stable version.

      As usual, a big round of thanks to everybody who contributes their
      time to helping maintain and improve Unison, and a special thanks to
      all the people that share their expertise on the unison-users mailing


      - Benjamin


      Changes since 2.31:
      * Minor fixes and improvements:
      + Ignore one hour differences when deciding whether a file
      have been updated. This avoids slow update detection after
      daylight saving time changes under Windows. This makes
      slightly more likely to miss an update, but it should be
      + Fix a small bug that was affecting mainly windows users. We
      need to commit the archives at the end of the sync even if
      there are no updates to propagate because some files (in
      fact, if we've just switched to DST on windows, a LOT of
      files) might have new modtimes in the archive. (Changed the
      text UI only. It's less clear where to change the GUI.)
      + Don't delete the temp file when a transfer fails due to a
      fingerprint mismatch (so that we can have a look and see
      why!) We've also added more debugging code to give more
      informative error messages when we encounter the dreaded
      longstanding "assert failed during file transfer" bug

      Changes since 2.27:
      * If Unison is interrupted during a directory transfer, it will
      leave the partially transferred directory intact in a temporary
      location. (This maintains the invariant that new files/
      are transferred either completely or not at all.) The next time
      Unison is run, it will continue filling in this temporary
      directory, skipping transferring files that it finds are already
      * We've added experimental support for invoking an external file
      transfer tool for whole-file copies instead of Unison's built-in
      transfer protocol. Three new preferences have been added:
      + copyprog is a string giving the name (and command-line
      switches, if needed) of an external program that can be
      to copy large files efficiently. By default, rsync is
      invoked, but other tools such as scp can be used instead by
      changing the value of this preference. (Although this is
      its primary purpose, rsync is actually a pretty fast way of
      copying files that don't already exist on the receiving
      host.) For files that do already exist on (but that have
      changed in one replica), Unison will always use its built-
      implementation of the rsync algorithm.
      + Added a "copyprogrest" preference, so that we can give
      different command lines for invoking the external copy
      utility depending on whether a partially transferred file
      already exists or not. (Rsync doesn't seem to care about
      this, but other utilities may.)
      + copythreshold is an integer (-1 by default), indicating
      what filesize (in megabytes) Unison should use the external
      copying utility specified by copyprog. Specifying 0 will
      cause ALL copies to use the external program; a negative
      number will prevent any files from using it. (Default is
      Thanks to Alan Schmitt for a huge amount of hacking and to an
      anonymous sponsor for suggesting and underwriting this
      * Small improvements:
      + Added a new preference, dontchmod. By default, Unison uses
      the chmod system call to set the permission bits of files
      after it has copied them. But in some circumstances (and
      under some operating systems), the chmod call always fails.
      Setting this preference completely prevents Unison from
      calling chmod.
      + Don't ignore files that look like backup files if the
      backuplocation preference is set to central
      + Shortened the names of several preferences. The old names
      also still supported, for backwards compatibility, but they
      do not appear in the documentation.
      + Lots of little documentation tidying. (In particular,
      preferences are separated into Basic and Advanced! This
      should hopefully make Unison a little more approachable for
      new users.
      + Unison can sometimes fail to transfer a file, giving the
      unhelpful message "Destination updated during
      synchronization" even though the file has not been changed.
      This can be caused by programs that change either the
      contents or the file's extended attributes without changing
      its modification time. It's not clear what is the best fix
      for this - it is not Unison's fault, but it makes Unison's
      behavior puzzling - but at least Unison can be more helpful
      about suggesting a workaround (running once with fastcheck
      set to false). The failure message has been changed to give
      this advice.
      + Many improvements to the OS X GUI (thanks to Alan Schmitt
      Craig Federighi), including a very nice new "nested
      directory" display style and per-file progress bars.
      * Very preliminary support for triggering Unison from an external
      filesystem-watching utility. The current implementation is very
      simple, not efficient, and almost completely untested--not ready
      for real users. But if someone wants to help improve it (e.g.,
      writing a filesystem watcher for your favorite OS), please make
      yourself known!
      On the Unison side, the new behavior is very simple:
      + use the text UI
      + start Unison with the command-line flag "-repeat FOO",
      FOO is name of a file where Unison should look for
      notifications of changes
      + when it starts up, Unison will read the whole contents of
      this file (on both hosts), which should be a
      newline-separated list of paths (relative to the root of
      synchronization) and synchronize just these paths, as if it
      had been started with the "-path=xxx" option for each one
      + when it finishes, it will sleep for a few seconds and then
      examine the watchfile again; if anything has been added, it
      will read the new paths, synchronize them, and go back to
      + that's it!
      To use this to drive Unison "incrementally," just start it in
      mode and start up a tool (on each host) to watch for new changes
      to the filesystem and append the appropriate paths to the
      watchfile. Hopefully such tools should not be too hard to write.
      * Bug fixes:
      + Fixed a bug that was causing new files to be created with
      permissions 0x600 instead of using a reasonable default
      0x644), if the 'perms' flag was set to 0. (Bug reported by
      Ben Crowell.)
      + Follow maxthreads preference when transferring directories.
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