Synching files - will rsync do what I need?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2012
Hey all

So I have an iMac in my basement office and a MacBookPro in my living room. I have The Sims 3 installed on both of them, and want to find a say to synch certain files between the two. There is one particular game I have been playing for a while on the iMac, and while I know I can copy and paste the saved games over, I was hoping for a way to automatically sync them.

The game files I need are all kept in their own folder, so I think copying the whole folder over will work, but I am also interested in syncing just single files within a folder too.

I have see a lot of people suggest rsync for backing up files to an external hard drive, and am wondering if this is a good way to synch that game file. And will it still synch if the machine I am playing on is in sleep mode? Or do they both have to be awake when the synch takes place?

If rsync isn't the solution, then I just have to remember when I take the game disc out, I also have to move the game file over. Not a huge deal, but would be nice to have it done automatically for me.
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macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2010
rsync should do what you need, and I think it would work best as "folder action." if you don't know a folder action is something that runs everytime the contents of a specific folder is changed. so if you put the rsync in one, then everytime the contents of the folder change (aka you saved something) then it will run rsync automatically. ALSO if you go that route, make sure to set it up to go both directions, if you look at my tutorial, my script copies one way first, and then the other. this just makes it easier so you can use the same script for both folders......... the main problem with rsync of course is getting it to automatically go between two different computers... to d this you'd have to enable "file sharing" or "remote login" here are a few outlines, if you have questions please ask

..... i could be wrong, I don't have another computer to check at the time, but if you connect to another mac (like through a home network) i believe it is mounted at /Volumes/computer_name. so you may be able to make the rsync even go across your home network... but I could be wrong.

Another similar option would be to rsync your sims3 files to your public folder, and vice versa. this would again require you to connect to your other mac (through finder) and drag stuff out of the folder

-----------NEEDS REMOTE LOGIN-------------
set up ssh on both your macs, then you can write a folder action script that will ssh one mac to the other, and then do the rsync heres what that would look like:
$ rsync -avz -e ssh remoteuser@remotehost:/remote/dir /this/dir/
and i got it from this website, it gose more indepth, but at the minimum after setting up ssh this would be the command you need

the easier option, is dropbox (you can sign up right here ) and what it does is automatically syncs files. Just set up an account (for free, you get 2gb) and install it on both computers, and select your "sims3 folder" as one that you sync. and it will automatically take care of the rest. and as a plus if you were at a friends or something, you could go online to dropbox, and download your files and play your game on their comp. I use DB to sync files between my mac and windows side, its great. but the main advantage f this is it will automatically sync whenever your computers are on a network (with or without internet...if theres no internet the comps must be on the same network though) and you don't have to do anything

also if you need help with rsync, i wrote a little "tutorial" for someone, a while ago, let me find it... here it is


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2012
I do have the sharing enabled, and am able to just copy and paste the file between the two computers.

I log into the opposite computer using the same user credentials as I am running on that opposite computer, and have full access. So if I had to drag to the public folder, I could just drop it in the folder it needs to be in on the other machine.

I will take a look at your tutorial and let you know if I have any questions.



macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2009
Rsync will do the Job. I sync my entire Library folder (with a few exclusions). If you can already login using ssh then you're almost there. You'll need to setup RSA SSH keys so you won't have to enter a password anymore ( <-guide)

Here is my code. I added it to ~/.profile in a function so I don't even need to type it in, just jsync
rsync --progress --exclude-from '~/rsync_logs/library_exclude.txt' -hrute ssh ~/Library/ James@Jamess-Mac-Pro.local:Library/ > "~/rsync_logs/log_`date '+%Y-%m-%d'`_`date '+%H%M%S'`-Library.txt"
It logs the output to a file based on the date and time, and my library_exclude.txt includes directories/files not to sync. Using the .local name means no need for static IPs (although I have set one up)