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Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox

Varun Kashyap 17-05-2009

Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox synclogodspSyncing folders (i.e. making sure that the changes you make in one folder are reflected onto the other) can greatly help to improve your workflow and save you from extra housekeeping chores you have to undertake to make sure that the files you are working on include the latest changes you made while you were on your laptop or at work.


DirSync Pro is an open source portable application that can help you to quickly set up, synchronize and manage synced folders. A mere 670 KB download, you just need to extract the ZIP file and it’s ready to rock!

DirSync Pro is a Java application, this means that it can run on Windows, Linux and Mac. What this also means is that you need to have Java runtime on your machine to run DirSync Pro (which is generally installed on most systems or else you can download it here).

Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox dirsdsp

Once DirSync Pro is up and running you need to set up the directories you want to sync. You can specify a directory label (something descriptive that you will use to identify your sync setup) and then the directories, of course. You can setup a one way sync from A to B or B to A or a two-way sync between A and B.

Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox modesdsp


DirSync Pro also gives you full control over what you want to copy and what not to. You can specifically include or exclude files and folders within the directories you are syncing. You can specify which files you want to sync – newly created, larger, modified or all. You can optionally keep backups of changed or deleted files, specify how sync conflicts should be handled and how to handle file deletions.

Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox settingsdsp

In addition, you can create a set of default settings according to your needs. These default settings are used, unless you override them with custom settings for a directory pair.

One feature that I truly adore is the ability to create lists (which are somewhat like profiles). You can setup directories just like above for each list. When you are done just hit save and DirSync Pro will generate a config file. This allows you to have separate directories synced according to your current need. If, for example, you have connected your laptop, you can load the laptop list and then synchronize all your file between laptop and desktop computer. No need to run those syncs everytime you try to sync a directory or two when you don’t even have a laptop connected.


Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox listsdsp

DirSync Pro can be used to sync files across different file systems and over a network. It can handle symbolic links and time stamps very well and has worked flawlessly for me for quite sometime now. I use synced directories to back up my USB pen drives, backup my files to an external hard disk, set up automatic syncing of project files or important configuration files (vimrc’s, bookmarks etc) between work and home using a combination of DirSync Pro and Dropbox.

Do you sync directories? What clever hacks have you come up with in terms of syncing? Are you a devout Dropbox user? How do you think this compares? Mention them in comments!

Related topics: Data Backup, File Management.

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  1. alexandrius
    November 13, 2009 at 4:07 am

    I use Opera Unite App for synchronizing, it's called File Sharing

  2. Ved Antani
    May 19, 2009 at 1:21 am

    This is simply the most useful bit of software. I have struggled to keep my download folder in sync with my backup disc.
    I tried everything from MS foldersync to Dropbox - nothing is as efficient as this.
    Thanks a ton.

  3. Beep2009
    May 18, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Here's another one. FreeFileSync 1.18 is an Open-Source folder comparison and synchronization tool. It is optimized for highest performance and usability without restricted or overloaded UI interfaces.

    A portable version is also available.

  4. Zia
    May 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I have been happy with Ozsync...

    [Broken Link Removed]

  5. curts
    May 18, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I don't see DirSync Pro filling the same need as DropBox. On my Linux box I have a symbolic link to the .Private folder of my ecryptfs within my DropBox folder, thus any file I store in my ecryptfs Private folder is automatically encrypted and backed up off-site via DropBox. Wish I could do the same trick on Windoze.

    As an aside, don't try to sync a TrueCrypt .tc file using DropBox. Currently, this combination does not play well together. :(

    I see DirSync Pro as a fancier version of ( The fact DirSync Pro is truly cross-platform has merit - I'll be taking a look at it for that reason. Thanks for the tip.

  6. Rodolfo
    May 18, 2009 at 2:58 am

    Capivara ( is another open source alternative that can be configured to use MD5 or SHA checksums when comparing files for a sync.

  7. Vivek
    May 17, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    How different is this from SyncToy coming from MS. I see both of them having similar functions and features. I have used synctoy to make backup of my work on an external disk and it worked fell. For files between office and work I use Dropbox 2 GB and Syncplicity 5 GB.