Linux and "offline folders"

O. Sinclair o.sinclair at
Fri Jan 9 12:09:26 UTC 2009

Jonas Norlander wrote:
> 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
> Hi!
> 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.

I know about unison, have also had a look at "luckybackup" and various 
rsync facilities. Eg Smb4K has an excellent syncing facility as has 
Krusader. Problem is they all require "user intervention" and I would 
like this to be transparent. To me this is almost "last piece of the 
puzzle" to get a linux-client to replace Windows w/o users or management 
being able to say "and what about this facility/software" etc.

At the moment I am looking at csync, it seems very promising:


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