Syncing everything on 2 Macs: OS X Server vs. ChronoSync

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cool1boy1, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. cool1boy1 macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    I know there are a lot of threads relating to what I'm going to ask but the more I read, the more confused I become. Please offer me some suggestions.

    I have a MacBook Pro (2007) and a very recently purchased iMac desktop (2013).

    All of my data (folders, contacts, calendars, programs, apps, etc.) are on my MacBook Pro. I'm slowly transferring all of my data onto my iMac as I want it to be my main computer. I want to use my MacBook Pro only when I'm travelling.

    So here's my problem:
    I want to sync EVERYTHING, and I mean, EVERYTHING on both the MacBook Pro and iMac. Anytime I edit a file/folder/contact/calendar/etc. on one, I want the other automatically updated without me having to do anything and vice versa. I don't know how I should do this.

    So here's my question:
    How shall I go about in doing this? ChronoSync? OS X server? Another solution?

    If it helps for clarification, I have an iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), Apple TV, Time Capsule (2nd generation), many other external hard drives. My dad also has a MacBook Pro (2011). Syncing between all these devices with my MacBook Pro and iMac would be nice as well.

    Please help me out, thanks!
  2. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2011
    Read up on these two services

    3... I mean 3 services!!! Lol

    1. iCloud
    2. Sugarsync
    3. Dropbox
    No need to complicate your life, these three will take care of enough...Done.
  3. cool1boy1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    I have iCloud and Dropbox already.
    I understand that iCloud is great for syncing Contacts and Calendars for all of my machines.
    Dropbox is great but it only allows me to sync in the 'Dropbox' folder.

    I checked out Sugarsync and it may do the trick but if I can avoid paying a monthly fee, I'd rather do that:
    ChronoSync and OS X server are a one-time fee of $40 and $20, respectively.

    But what if I want to sync everything? All folders on my desktop, etc. within a reasonable budget?
  4. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2011
    It all depends on how much free time you have.. I'm sure you can make it happen with chronosync - old friend used that
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've got both a server system (you mentioned OS X Server, but not specifically a server system -- you shouldn't really consider OS X Server on either your iMac or MBP), Chronosync, as well as cloud services (iCloud which is IMHO a disaster for me and Dropbox).

    I don't even attempt to synchronize *everything* between my iMac and MBP. I use the server to synchronize the Calendar and Address Book and Chronosync to synchronize the folders I want to keep updated across the machines. But the bulk of the files sit on the server. Using the cloud is too expensive and time consuming if you have lots of gigabytes that are changing all the time and terabytes in total. It takes discipline to remember to use Chronosync when leaving home and returning.

    You can use OS X Server to synchronize multiple calendars and synchronize them across users. You can also remotely access shares which can have access controlled (some private and others shared selectively) using VPN but Bonjour, which is used to see other systems doesn't not work across VPN. You have to use "Connect to Server" in the Finder's Go menu. It's also possible to use SSH instead of VPN and access files using a program like Forklift (paid) or Cyberduck (free).
  6. cool1boy1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    Sorry, I'm just a little confused. At first you said that I shouldn't use an OS X Server but near the end you said that I should use it.

    As well, does Chronosync automatically update all my new changes across my machines?

    When I'm remotely accessing my data and using SSH, doesn't that require me to go into Terminal each time and select which files to update or will this all be automatic without my interference?
  7. djrod macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2008
    Madrid - Spain
    I tried the same with an iMac and a MacBook Air.

    I used iCloud for contacts and Dropbox for everything else, using symlinks to put the folders I wanted to sync inside the Dropbox folder, app settings, fonts, keychains, etc

    Result : Total disaster, I ended up getting a lot of "syncing mismatches" , at the end of the day my Dropbox folder was full of duplicated copies of some files, especially the keychains.

    The thing worked pretty well with only one computer running at a time.

    I think the best thing is MacBook+Cinema Display.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    When I used SugarSync last year it did not preserve extended file attributes and overall resulted in numerous sync errors. I tis possible they have improved since then. In the end, I abandoned all my syncing plans, sold my iMac and now use only the laptop. Works better in any case :)
  9. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    You should only use it on a system you dedicate as a server, not on your iMac. The server needs to be running 24/7. An older Mac mini works well for this as it consumes little power and is known as the most reliable Mac.

    It takes some setting up. You basically need to specify the folders you want to sync. But you have to tell it to sync, it won't do it automatically.

    SSH is for remotely accessing files on the server. It's best to use a GUI based client like Cyberduck for that, although it certainly can be done from the terminal. I was thinking remote access for your dad. Do you really want to share all your files?

    Rather than syncing systems, the "corporate" way to do this is by having a file server that shares the files among workstations/users. Works nice when systems are local but requires VPN for seamless operation when remote. OS X Server will do that.
  10. Gosephe macrumors newbie


    Oct 30, 2012
    Eindhoven de gekste
    Sync all and everything

    Iam doing a complete sync with a synology NAS, DSM 4.2. Cloud folders. It's syncing on the NAS, MBA, Mac Mini and 2 Windows compu's.

    Ooo and I can open files from the cloud with my ipad and iPhone, so what do you want more (oké it's more expensive):D

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