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Ubuntu Hacks by Bill Childers, Kyle Rankin, Jonathan Oxer

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Hack #86. Synchronize Files Across Machines

If you switch between multiple machines, it's a real hassle to keep track of which system has the latest version of a file. Use the free Unison File Synchronizer to keep all your systems in sync, even Windows and Mac machines.

There's an old saying that everyone should take to heart: "There are two kinds of computer users: those who have lost data and those who are about to." I belong in that first camp, but it only took one nasty experience with an accidentally deleted term paper to force me to resolve never to let that happen again. That night long ago, when I lost the fruits of my labors analyzing the great film Raising Arizona, taught me the hard way that backing up is essential. And while traditional backups [Hack #79] are vital, keeping two or more machines in sync not only gives you some extra security, but it also makes it easy to switch from system to system without having to remember which one has the latest copy of a file.

If a user new to Linux starts asking more experienced users about a good way to sync his data, he will soon hear about a wonderful tool named rsync. rsync was developed by Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell, the same man behind Samba; in fact, Tridge has stated that he believes he'll be remembered through posterity for rsync far more than for Samba, and he just may be right. However, rsync, while absolutely excellent, is not necessarily the best software to use for syncing two repositories that you're actively working ...

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