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Would it be appropriate to ask why Ubuntu One for Windows stopped using the HOME environment variable between v2 and v3? I'm talking about software design philosophy, security considerations, why it's such a high priority to deny us flexibility in setting up our Ubuntu One sync directory the way we want, etc. Not a support question, just curious. I'm not looking for opinions or speculation, I have those already -- just the software design philosophy for that sort of decision.

I was using HOME as a way to fool Ubuntu One into using a directory on a more appropriate drive than USERPROFILE, and that's not working in v3.

I could point out that Microsoft provides a very easy way to change the location of My Documents so it is outside of the USERPROFILE, e.g. on drive D:, and when this happens Ubuntu One is unable to monitor any folders there. This means that one of the directory trees on Windows that the user is by design allowed to use is being denied by Ubuntu One, so an answer like "best practice says USERPROFILE is the best place for the user to put files" is incorrect, at least when "My Documents" is somewhere else.

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I too would like this feature because my documents is on separated partition (d:) then the system (c:). for me its much more important to back up regularly my data then the system and if ubuntu one dir wont be inside this partition it wont backed up generaly speaking i think its a good idea to separate the sys from the data as in linux /root and /home on diff partitions this way you can erase the sys but keep your data –  user70406 Jun 13 '12 at 17:27
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2 Answers

The short answer is: it's dangerous to allow that, and it only worked by accident.

We had a few reports of users who had HOME set accidentally (because of other software) and had unexpected results because of it, and we were not testing it at all.

Also, currently Ubuntu One doesn't do any checks to see if you are syncing folders in a removable device. If that was the case and the device would be unmounted, you would experience sudden and complete data loss.

One of the coming features we have in our roadmap is supporting syncing arbitrary folders, inside or outside the user's profile, in a proper, secure and consistent way.

If you want, I can try to give you a personalized build that supports HOME, but you have to keep in mind that it will be untested, and I can't guarantee it will not do completely evil things to your data.

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I just installed ubuntu folder synchronization on windows. I run into the same problems as Agmenor. Sorry, but from a user perspective it seems to be a pretty strange design decision you took there. It least on windows.

All my project files reside on a subdirectory somewhere on drive D in a well structured directory tree. I would like to synchronize a remote folder provided by someone else with a local directory residing somewhere on drive D. This should be a pretty normal use case. Though synchronization of remote folders to my local hard disk is limited to "C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Administrator\Lokale Einstellungen\Anwendungsdaten\xdg\ubuntuone\shares\ProjectName (SomeUserName, 4e23470f-7214-4ffa-c9db-9dd028c1b035)". (The exact folder name has been changed in this text for data security reasons.) And there seems to be no way to change this. First, I am not working as administrator but as a local user. It is okay that the Ubuntu software runs as an administrator, nevertheless it should deal with user accounts accordingly. Second, I do not want to access important document somewhere deep in the directory tree. This isn't very intuitive and users will get problems with long file paths: Only about 80 characters remain to be used for files and directories, because most Windows APIs only support paths up to 254 characters and a lot of software will have trouble with larger paths. And third I do not want to have important documents been stored in an application settings folder. This increases user profiles dramatically and prevents them from proper synchronization with servers. Data should reside in areas of the file system that are dedicated to data.

All in all it seems a bit strange to lock the user into his home directory to avoid problems with removable media because for applications under Windows it is pretty easy to detect if a file resides on a removable media or on a fixed drive. I personally love Ubuntu but the service you provide here is not usable for me. It may work well in very special use cases but not the typical use cases that arise in daily use. Please think about these use cases and address these problems: I would love to work with Ubuntu in the future!

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Downvote: You could be right, but this not an answer to the above question, not is this the place to contact developers. If you want this feature added you should open a bug report. If you just want to rant, please use the forums. –  Javier Rivera Oct 11 '12 at 11:23
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