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I'm using 3 computers, each of which is dual-boot (XP/Xubuntu Jaunty, XP/Kubuntu Karmic, Win7, Ubuntu NMR 9.10). There's data I want to share between all three machines, and also be able to easily restore or migrate to another machine. This includes:

  • Settings for Thunderbird and Firefox (general)
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • Email account data
  • Firefox plugins
  • Emails
  • Passwords in Thunderbird and Firefox

Emails should be taken care of, as I'm already using IMAP. However, while that works for the Inbox, I'm under the impression that the "sent" and "Trash" folder work differently. Is that true? Also, I want to share the training data for Thunderbird's spam filter.

Most of the other stuff is inside my profile folders. About three years ago, I tried sharing a Thunderbird profile across XP and Linux on a dual-boot PC and it didn't work because there were some files inside the profile that were OS-specific. I wonder if that's still true, and whether there are workarounds.

Next, I need a mechanism to share folders between computers, i. e. some kind of central server software. I even have my own server, so I wouldn't necessrily need to depend on an external service. I already use rsync for backups, but this time, I think rsync is too unidirectional, I would need something that's more like a version control system.

Finally, I would really love to share all the saved passords, but I'm not sure what I need to take care of to make that reasonably secure. Since my passwords in Firefox and Thunderbird are already protected with a master password, does that mean they are stored encrypted? If so, what encryption is used and where can I find the data?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Most of this can be done with Dropbox, I believe. Here's an example of how to symlink a Firefox user profile for use with Dropbox:

  1. Find the directory containing your Firefox profile. A default installation places this folder in %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox
  2. Copy that Firefox directory into your Dropbox folder.
  3. Delete the original Firefox folder.
  4. Use Mklink to create a hardlink between the new and original Firefox folders.

If your Dropbox folder is in C:/ you can use the following command:

mklink /J %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox C:/dropbox/Firefox

You can also modify where Firefox would save its profile data to be where your dropbox directory is in:


*I gave examples for Vista/7, but it'd be just as applicable in any other OS I'd imagine.

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This looks like a very cool app. The only catch seems to be that you have to trust that company to do everything right, don't lose data, don't fall prey to attackers, etc. This is obviously a very personal choice. I'd use it as a consumer, but not as an enterprise. – Hanno Fietz Dec 26 '09 at 23:50

Well the profile sharing would be easy, just use a software like Active Directory

But some files are OS specific and unforunatly i know of no workabouts for this problem

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You could try using portable FF and Thunderbird from a USB key. This would store your bookmarks, settings, emails etc in one place. (this might only help with one type of OS though)

There are several online bookmark managers and you could use web based email.

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Portable apps are Windows versions. The question specifically states he also uses Linux. I'm not sure if Wine can run portable apps. – Macha Dec 14 '09 at 17:48

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