I have a MacBook Pro, a Windows 7 desktop, and a Fedora 13 netbook. I have been searching far and wide for an automatic solution to sync files (pictures, music, docs, etc...) between the three when they are all on the same LAN.

To better explain, when I get home and turn my MacBook on, I want it to sync automatically any file changes to Windows 7 and the netbook. Likewise if I make changes on my Windows 7 box, I want them to be reflected on my Mac.

I can use rsync, but it is not automatic as far as I can tell, and I would use Dropbox but I have a lot more that 2 gigs and do not want to pay. I also do not need internet syncing. I just want local LAN.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you very much in advance.

  • 1
    Did you think about putting everything on a single headless server on your LAN? – romainl Feb 8 '11 at 5:36
  • possible duplicate of Smart syncronisation between 2 networked pc's – fretje Feb 8 '11 at 8:30
  • Pretty much every answer you'll get will be a GUI to rsync, dropbox and Unison are. It may be worth your time learning how to use the command line rsync, for more flexibility. Please note what you end up using with whatever detail you can manage, it's a common problem that we're all interested in. – tobylane Feb 8 '11 at 8:49
  • Thanks guys for the posts. My Desktop can act as a server, headless or not, but getting the auto sync is what I need. As answered below I will look at Unison first. I will certainly post ant solution I find. – Siriss Feb 8 '11 at 11:30

I think Unison is going to be your best bet.


Dropbox uses your LAN for local sync. "Enable LAN Sync" is checked (turned on) by default in versions 1.0 and later.

Dropbox is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linus operating systems.

Biggest issue with Dropbox is that the free account is limited to 2GB by default. There are ways, via referral and social linking, to increase to a max of 10GB. They have 50GB $100/yr. plan and 100GB $200/yr accounts.


windows live mesh will get you 2 thirds there

  • Thanks! I took a look at that and it seems to be similar to DropBox in that I would have to pay to sync large files. Do you know if Mesh will sync large files locally? – Siriss Feb 8 '11 at 12:43
  • Yes, mesh will sync large files – Jim B Feb 9 '11 at 17:08

I went with Windows Live Mesh because it is automatic. Unison is also a very nice solution, but it would have required quite a bit of scripting (from my understanding) to get it to run automatically on Windows.

While Live Mesh does not have Linux support yet (I can live without it I guess), and the syncs seem a little slow, it does not require a sync to the cloud and offers the option for browser based remote desktop.

I wish a program would come out that would easily meet these requirements. Hope this helps. Thank you all for the input.


I have no affiliation with these guys but I found it whilst searching for an answer to the same question. It doesn't get much coverage but it might be worth a look:



Dropbox is the tool I use for it. Works perfectly, but then you sync over the internet.

  • 6
    Dropbox is the tool everyone recommends. And then they read the question. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Feb 8 '11 at 8:27

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