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In my home we have a number of PCs, all running Ubuntu (except one which runs Mint).

Is there a way to automatically synchronize the settings and home-directories of the computers. That way any member of my family could login to either box with the exact same set of credentials.

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Im no expert but for your set up it sounds like you will need a central "server". Distributed syncing will not work as all computers may not be on at once. If you had one computer which was on all the time and had a large amount of storage you would have a number of options.

You could mount the users /home folder over the network.

A better option would be to set up rsync scripts that incrementally sync:

  • on node login from server -> node
  • on node logout from node -> server

You may also have to look at an app called Unison in the software centre but ive never used it and I think it could be quite old.

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you can export for example /etc folders on all machines via NFS

then mount those exports on a machine which stays mostly up.

create a cron job, say every 5 minutes to sync back and forth all /etc/shadow files

I assume all the users have the same ID numbers/names on all the machines

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