I have a couple Linux computers which are all in the same network. Currently, I use rsync to copy my dotfiles and the like to each machine every couple of days from the master computer. Ideally, I would like this to happen automatically.

The problem is that I would also like to have local duplication of the files. So a plain NFS or SMB mounted /home from my home server would give me really bad performance (like 3 MB/s). Duplication would serve as a physical backup as well.

So far, I have thought of the following:

  • Using rsync at the clients so that they pull the latest data into their home directory. This overwrites local changes and is not ideal.

  • Use unison in a similar setup, such that each client syncs alls the files with the server in the background. Conflicts might happen, and I am not sure whether they are handled well.

In the end, I would like to have local cache of the network drive. So writes are sent to the server and reads check whether the version is the latest one and use the local copy if so.

Is there any software (or software stack) that does this?

  • You could use owncloud or sparkleshare to synchronize your home directory
    – Yogu
    Sep 28, 2014 at 21:50
  • I have used ownCloud a bit on a big server (Opteron, 16 GB) and it was really slow from the Windows Client. It is probably not a good idea to run ownCloud on a Raspberry Pi. Sparkleshare is probably good, I am just not sure how it can handle large files. Its website says that it is only good for smaller files. Sep 29, 2014 at 9:32
  • That's true, sparkleshare uses a git repository and is not suited for large files. It can also grow pretty quick as it stores every version on every client.
    – Yogu
    Sep 29, 2014 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


I have btsync set up at home, that seems to do a great job of keeping things synced up. Also very simple to configure (and has clients for a number of devices). I don't know the update frequency, but it seems to push out updates very rapidly.

  • Does btsync scan all the files after the boot? How long would it take to sync like 120 GB of not so big files? Oct 2, 2014 at 21:39
  • btsync will continuously scan for changes (including at boot). Unfortunately I can't really tell how long a data sync would take because my archive is not nearly that large. When you mentioned dotfiles in your original question, I had assumed you were only transfering kB of data, not GB. I am not saying btsync won't work for that situation, I just can't say for sure that it will.
    – Fondor1
    Oct 9, 2014 at 20:23

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