Linux and "offline folders"

John Hubbard ender8282 at
Fri Jan 9 15:16:14 UTC 2009

O. Sinclair wrote:
> 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:
> Sinclair
I am not sure where to put it but if you have found a command line sync 
tool then you should be able to set us a script do the update at both 
login and logout. I know that kde will run anything in ~/.kde/Autostart 
every time the user logs in. I am not sure about logout but I bet that 
there is some similar mechanism.

Not really the solution that you were looking for but you might checkout 
autofs. It uses nfs to mount a shared folder as needed. At work I share 
my home folder across a few machines. (It makes passwordless ssh 
connections a breeze to set up.)


To be or not to be, that is the question
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        0b11000100 || !0b11000100
        0b11000100 || 0b00111011
        255, that is the answer.

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