Keeping a filesystem in sync across two or more servers and local machines, Part 1

You’d think the solution would be easy and ubiquitous. Here’s what I wanted to do: My personal blog run with the Perl-based Ode system. Ode doesn’t use a database. Instead it stores its entries as text files in “normal” directories on the server.

I wanted to have exact copies of everything in my Ode documents directory on my local computer and the server. And I wanted the freedom to add to or modify anything in this directory on either side (server or laptop) and have everything track on both machines.

Many of us use Dropbox (or Box, or SpiderOak, or Google Drive, or …) to both back up some or all of our files and mirror them on other desktops and laptops we happen to use.

But what if you want to keep a filesystem in sync across any number of servers and desktops and laptops without using a third-party service?

My first thought was, “I’ll just use Dropbox. Certainly there must be a way to use Dropbox on my server/VPS/shared-hosting. Nope. No. It doesn’t work that way.

My second thought was, “Holy shit, Dropbox is missing out on a whole lot of revenue and screwing its users besides.” Continue reading “Keeping a filesystem in sync across two or more servers and local machines, Part 1”

My new blog: Master and Server

I started a new blog, Master and Server, mostly just to see if I could install the software on the OpenBSD server, but also to provide a place to detail my experiments with servers in general.

The blog’s (and my) mission:

  • Mortals can (and should be able to) install, configure and use servers
  • Mucking with servers is fun
  • Life is better when you know how things work
  • In my first “project,” I am somewhat surprised at how easy it is to install WordPress in’ OpenBSD environment, even when I make an error and have to reinstall. Five minutes times two is pretty darn easy.

    My Hostgator e-mail setup: Roundcube webmail plus filtering in cPanel

    While I continue to use Gmail for my “work” e-mail — a decision to be enforced by my employer’s move to Google Apps for Business, I’ve been seeking solutions for my “personal” e-mail that include less work and more flexibility — plus no spying/marketing — for yours truly.

    My chief concerns:

    • I don’t want to manage a full mail-server system
    • I don’t want Google/Yahoo/other spying on me and marketing to me on the basis of my e-mail’s content
    • I do want webmail — I’m tired of client applications on the desktop

    Point 3 means that while I maintain a Mozilla Thunderbird (or in my case Icedove) mail client on my Linux desktop, I’d much rather use webmail day to day and only use a desktop client application for occasional archiving.
    Continue reading “My Hostgator e-mail setup: Roundcube webmail plus filtering in cPanel”