Syncing Two Macs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lifeinhd, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. lifeinhd macrumors 65816


    Mar 26, 2008
    Here's the situation:

    I currently use a MacBook Pro connected to a 28" monitor, but the MBP is getting a bit old (2.16GHz CD) and I find myself wanting a desktop Mac. I'll likely be building myself a Hackintosh, mainly because I want internal space for more hard drives and I'm too poor to get a Mac Pro. However, I can't imagine giving up portability. While my MBP sits on the desk 99% of the time, I love being able to bring it to New York when I go a few times a year and such. I was thinking I might also get either a hackintosh netbook or a 12" PowerBook to supplement my desktop Hackintosh, but my main issue is potentially not having all my stuff when I travel. For instance, if I decide while I'm in New York that I have some time to work on a Final Cut project, I want that project to be with me, and not be annoyed that I didn't copy it or whatever. So my question is this: is there any way to sync all my crap across two computers automatically, say once a day? Or do I need to forget the whole Hackintosh business and just get me a 13" MBP?

    Thank you in advance.

    EDIT: Is this even the right category for something like this? It's based loosely on what to buy, so not sure....
  2. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    I THINK you can do this with Time Machine, but I dont have one yet and i could be wrong.
  3. lifeinhd thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 26, 2008
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Another vote for Chronosync. I use it to keep the Documents folders on my 3 Macs in sync.
  5. tomllama macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007
    I also use Chronosync to sync between my MBP and my MP
  6. Lloyd Christmas macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    Sorry to jump

    Sorry to jump on this thread but I was wondering if this ChronoSync would work for a friends Iphoto collection. Hes got a MBP and a Imac and all the pictures are on the Imac and he would like to be able to view Iphoto on both macs. Is this something he should buy and would work. Thanks in advance. Lloyd
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Do you need to have your files on more than one computer? ChronoSync is the solution. ChronoSync synchronizes your files so when you switch computers all your files come with you. When you switch back, just sync and your changed files are updated on the other computer. If both files have changed, several options are given so you don't copy over a file you need. You only need to install ChronoSync on your primary Mac because ChronoSync mounts the destination Mac and synchronizes.
    Mac to Mac
    Whether it's one folder or all your files, ChronoSync keeps your files in sync on both your Macs. ChronoSync brings power and simplicity to the old hassles of keeping your laptop and desktop computers in sync. No more forgetting to update your contacts list, or forgetting to move that important presentation to the laptop. ChronoSync automates these tasks for you in a stable, easy-to-use environment. It keeps track of every file so only files that have changed get updated. You may only want to keep some folders and files in sync on your two Macs due to hard drive space limitations, no problem, ChronoSync can handle any scenario. If you want to keep everything the same on both Macs check out our Home-to-Home Sync tip on how to keep your entire User folder in sync on two Macs.
    Mac to PC
    ChronoSync only runs on a Mac but you can mount your PC and synchronize files between the two computers. Work on your Mac, sync, work on your PC, sync. It's that easy. Or sync sync between your Mac and someone's else's PC. ChronoSync keeps everyone in sync in a cross platform environment.
    You can not sync your System Files between two Macs or Applications between two Macs. You can sync almost anything else but do not synchronize two Macs until you have read the instructions in our tips section and understand how to setup Chronosync.


    Basically, all your data is copied back and forth, textfile1.rtf gets copied from Mac A to Mac B, it gets edited on the Mac B, and during the next sync process the textfile1.rtf gets copied back to Mac A, while Mac B keeps the current version.
    In shorter words, files are on both (or more Macs all the time) and get updated during sync, so every Mac is up to date.
  8. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Oh, just admit you work for syncmate (your three other posts are all about syncmate - and all today) and we'll still love you, jenny. :p
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Are both computers on a network? If so look up the "rsync" command. It is already installed on both computers.

    From inside terminal type "man rsync" (no quotes) for more info. Rsync will move the minimum amount of data to sync two fiolders. That folder might by your home folder or a smaller folder inside the home folder.

    Many people have written point and click GUI shells that simply run rsync for yo so you don't have to type. Those work as well. Almost all of them have "sync" in their name but if you can read and type just use the terminal.
  10. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    I realize this topic is a gravedig, but it's really lacking any mention of the concentrated awesome that is Dropbox.
  11. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    While Chronosync may offer a nice GUI, rsync is built-in to OSX, and since it is a command-line tool, it can be scripted. (Dunno about Chronosync, as i don't have it. Chronosync can schedule, but what if you're not connected at the scheduled time?)

    Using a context-aware utility such as MarcoPolo, you can sync only when you are on your home WiFi or wired connection, and avoid syncing at Starbucks...

    I have a Linux (Kubuntu) server, so I sync a few directories (photos, "books" where I keep mostly programming books and PDF manuals, etc.) from the server.

    BTW, backup is backup, sync is sync, they have different uses. I use CrashPlan for backup, because it is cross-platform across Linux, Windows, OSX, keeps historical versions like TimeCapsule, and is free to backup to your own or a friend's server. (They charge a fee to backup to "the cloud", but I prefer JungleDisk for that.)
  12. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    If syncing iPhoto libraries and iTunes libraries including Albums and playlists is important you will need to set up each Mac with the same user account and password so they are essentially clones. Also, it looks like syncmate expert may be more geared towards this than chronosync because it specifically mentions syncing your libraries. It's not just a matter of copying library data, because the playlists and album data is kept elsewhere.
  13. lifeinhd thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 26, 2008
    Thanks for all the great replies. That rsync thing sounds very interesting. I'm surprised Apple didn't build in a GUI version if it's so simple. Unfortunately I'm in NY with one of my computers, and my main computer... isn't, so I'll have to wait a week to try it out.
  14. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Don't forget Mobile Me which will also give your 20Gb of storage and a website. Of course you pay $99/year
  15. Slarti Bartfast, Mar 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

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