unison: decentralized synchronization of files

December 24th, 2006 edited by lucas

Entry submitted by Gael Varoquaux. DPOTD needs your help. If you want it to continue in 2007, please contribute !

Unison allows to synchronize files between two or more computers. Unison does not require a dedicated server, or root privilege, it is able to run using ssh, or a direct socket connection. Transfers are optimised using a version of the rsync protocol.

Unison works by taking a footprint of the replicas at each synchronization, and using this footprint to find out which files changed between two synchronizations. Unison has no central repository, and you can synchronize replicas between an arbitrary number of computers, or even use an external storage as an intermediate replica to synchronize two computers with no network connection. It will detect conflicts between updates and signal them. Unison also garanties that a network or power failure will not lead to loss of data.

Links :

unison is available in Debian stable at version 2.9.1, testing and unstable both have 2.13.16. The latest Ubuntu release, 6.10/Edgy, the LTS release (6.06/Dapper) and the development version (Feisty) currently have version 2.13.16. The latest version upstream is currently 2.13.16 and the program is actively maintained, but no longer developed.

There also is a unison-gtk package, which brings a nice graphical front-end to unison:

Unison GTK

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

2 Responses

  1. Markus Vuorio Says:

    Unison rocks! I for one use it almost daily… It’s fast even with large quantities of files. I love it

  2. HungryForester Says:

    I’ve found same functionality in Krusader for Linux. Under MS Windows it may be founded in TotalCommander as well.

    But some features like synchronize two computers with no network connection seems to be unique. I’ll try it.