Linux and "offline folders"

Jonas Norlander jonorland at
Fri Jan 9 09:33:14 UTC 2009

2009/1/9 O. Sinclair <o.sinclair at>:
> Maybe someone can assist on this. I have (and am still) searched the
> internet for information on how one can implement the windows concept of
> "offline folders" in a linux client environment.
> Offline folders means that a folder (could be home, in Windows is My
> Documents) is stored on a server but a cached copy is kept on the
> client/workstation. The user works with the cache and sees no difference.
> On login and logout any changes are synchronized with the serverbased
> folder. If you are offline (travelling or server down) you will see no
> difference except an error when you log on or off that synch could not
> be done.
> The advantage is of course that users files can be centrally backed up
> and if a computer crashes or gets stolen you simply configure a new one,
> "resync" and the user is all set to go. In Windows domains it works with
> "roaming profiles" meaning that if you log on to another workstation you
> will have access to your files but not your own desktop or configs.
> I am looking for a way to implement this concept (minus the roaming
> profile if that is not possible) in an environment where the servers are
> either Windows or Linux (Ebox) and the clients also mixed Windows and
> Linux (Kubuntu hopefully). The organisation are moving away from
> Windows, are not going Vista but staying with XP and for new computers
> going LInux. But the offline folders is a security aspect for them,
> securing that users files gets backed up "automagically".
> Any pointers, help, someone did something like this, assistance of any
> kind most welcome.
> Sinclair


I'm using unison to sync my files between 3 computers and it has
worked fine for my needs. It don't have the automagical you want, it's
just a secure (SSH) plain and simple synchronization but perhaps it
can be configured to your needs.

Snip from
Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. It allows
two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on
different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified
separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in
each replica to the other.

/ Jonas

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