Can two macs in a house be synced?

Chiromac81

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 18, 2018
107
14
Ontario Canada
hi all-I have a 2012 iMac and a new 2018 Mac mini. Both have the same internal storage. Is there any way that either both machines can sort of work as one (same account) or even if not working as one could they mirror each other if I make a change to something on my iMac (like delete a file on the desktop) would it happen automatically on the other one somehow?
 

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
4,107
1,999
Horsens, Denmark
There are ways of setting up a more comprehensive solution, but for ease of use and administration, I recommend just using iCloud Drive and having the Desktop and Documents folders sync via iCloud. It's close to full parity since most files will be within either of those two locations for a lot of people.

For a full mirror, you could set up an rsync script that runs every few minutes or however often you want them to sync with each other.
 

Chiromac81

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 18, 2018
107
14
Ontario Canada
Thank you-I will look into both solutions. I’m just not sure if either or any of those solutions will work with:

A) 1 Mac being on high Sierra and other on Mojave

B) if there are 2 accounts or log ins (my wife and I) on both macs

Would you happen to know if these pose challenges to syncing both macs as above suggested?
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,884
10,930
In the middle of several books.
Thank you-I will look into both solutions. I’m just not sure if either or any of those solutions will work with:

A) 1 Mac being on high Sierra and other on Mojave

B) if there are 2 accounts or log ins (my wife and I) on both macs

Would you happen to know if these pose challenges to syncing both macs as above suggested?
Shouldn't be a problem via iCloud, so long as both computers are using the same account for the iCloud synced items.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,365
938
Baltimore, Maryland
This question gets asked here every once in a while and I can't remember if anyone has ever posted how they got a complete sync working.

I think most folks abandon the idea and just proceed with one of the cloud document syncing methods.
 

Chiromac81

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 18, 2018
107
14
Ontario Canada
Shouldn't be a problem via iCloud, so long as both computers are using the same account for the iCloud synced items.
Thanks again-I have a family iCloud (sharing 2TB)...would this classify as the same even though my wife and I would have two separate log ins/usernames signing in and each have different iCloud/Apple ID but we are sharing the family plan for iCloud.

Still would work fine syncing stuff back and forth between macs?
 

Chiromac81

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 18, 2018
107
14
Ontario Canada
That should work.
Last question before I go ahead and start this experiment. I have the new iMac mini and it is current with what I would like to have on my desktop and documents. The old 2012 Mac mini has been unplugged for a few weeks since I’ve got the mini.

My question is: what happens if I plug the old iMac back in and the syncing of iCloud that occurs prioritized/brings the old iMac stuff to the new Mac mini instead of bringing the iMac mini stuff to the iMac.

Essentially, when syncing the two at first-how do I know which version the iCloud will be the master sync? I believe they both have the sync on but the iMac hasn’t been plugged in for a few weeks.,,
 

ducknalddon

macrumors member
Aug 31, 2018
30
36
Essentially, when syncing the two at first-how do I know which version the iCloud will be the master sync? I believe they both have the sync on but the iMac hasn’t been plugged in for a few weeks.,,
It should be fine, the sync is based on the last modified date on the file. You should only really expect a conflict if you modify the same file on both machines whilst either or both has been offline.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,456
5,671
My opinion only:

This is a wild goose chase, not worth the trouble.

Let each Mac "be its own Mac", so to speak.

You can synch some things via iCloud, if you wish.

But not worth the trouble to make one "the same as" the other...
 

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
4,107
1,999
Horsens, Denmark
It should be fine, the sync is based on the last modified date on the file. You should only really expect a conflict if you modify the same file on both machines whilst either or both has been offline.

Actually even that didn't conflict for me. It created a folder on the desktop with both. I was impressed
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,008
4,055
Bedfordshire, UK
hi all-I have a 2012 iMac and a new 2018 Mac mini. Both have the same internal storage. Is there any way that either both machines can sort of work as one (same account) or even if not working as one could they mirror each other if I make a change to something on my iMac (like delete a file on the desktop) would it happen automatically on the other one somehow?
Yes, it does this by design using iCloud so I don't understand why you are asking the question. I have 4 Macs that are all in sync although I refuse to store data on the desktop. Everything else in iCloud (documents, photos, iMessage, Reminders, Notes etc are in full sync with each other and my iPhone's & iPad.
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
572
289
Austin, TX
^ what he said.

I have two Macs running 10.13 (MacBook & iMac) that I try to keep as much in sync as possible:
  • Enabled Documents & Desktop in iCloud Drive
  • Moved my iTunes Library into iCloud Drive (this only works if you are running the same version of iTunes on both Macs)
  • Enabled iCloud Photo Sync for Photos
  • Enabled iCloud Keychain to keep the passwords, accounts, etc. in sync
By and large this has been working pretty well. There are some hiccups every now and then, particularly with iCloud Keychain, but at least the Desktop & Documents sync works pretty well.
 
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