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I am looking for a file sync solution. The idea is to have a central repository on my own server, and have several clients (differents users or same user with different devices) syncing automatically to it.

Ideally, it would have the following features:

  • Free and Open Source
  • Syncs on my own central server
  • Windows/Linux/OSX clients
  • Permissions (read only, no delete rights, etc.)
  • Easy to use: if it can be used within Explorer/Nautilus/Finder, it's even better

So far, I've seen different solutions.



  • Very easy to use
  • Multi-platforms


  • Proprietary
  • Syncs on Dropbox servers
  • No permissions: If one user deletes a folder by mistake, it is deleted automatically for all other users (and recovery is not optimal in that case).



  • Open Source
  • Multi-platforms
  • Easy to use
  • Syncs on any git repository


  • On clients, looks like it takes a lot of space: local files + a clone of the remote git repo = at least twice the amount of data!
  • No permissions: If one user deletes a folder by mistake, it is deleted automatically for all other users.



  • Open Source
  • Multi-platforms


  • No permissions (? unsure about this, the documentation is quite sparse)
  • More complicated to set-up

Any recommendation? Any feedback you could give me on solutions you've tried?

Thanks in advance!


migration rejected from stackoverflow.com Aug 5 '13 at 4:21

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closed as off-topic by Breakthrough, Mokubai, random Aug 5 '13 at 4:21

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rsync would be too hard to set-up for all my users (it includes designers and people with no technical background). Plus it's a one-way solution, so it would actually be complicated to synchronise every machine to the central server and make sure every users have the same data. –  Pierre Dec 22 '12 at 6:33
please clarify your permission term. Do you need and extra user management layer or do you want your cross platform syncing solution to preserve the Linux user permissions on file system layer? –  Stefan K. Feb 18 '13 at 13:43
- [Alternative to Dropbox, Sugarsync, Spideroak, Wuala that only sync to my devices, and not “the cloud?”][1] - and [Synchronize two directories on linux pc][2] are worth a look. [1]: superuser.com/questions/372066/… [2]: superuser.com/questions/510684/… –  Stefan K. Feb 18 '13 at 13:48

1 Answer 1

Git Annex http://git-annex.branchable.com/ seems to do a lot of what you want... but it's about as simple and easy-to-use as you'd expect from something that's a convoluted wrapper around git.


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