Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a growing music collection which I manually keep in sync with an external USB drive. Sometimes I edit their ID3 tags, add or delete a file in either the hard drive or the USB drive, and I would like to keep those changes synchronized between both.

Does Ubuntu has something available that would help me with this scenario? Preferably something easy to use with a UI.

Update: To clarify my question, changes may happen on both the local hard drive or the USB drive, so the sync process must be on both directions.

share|improve this question
Is there a way to automatically do this without udev rules? –  user29020 Apr 16 at 15:34

4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Well, rsync is a great command-line tool for this.

You mentioned that you wanted a GUI, so I recommend Gadmintools which contains gadmin-rsync.

Update: Try giving Unison-GTK a try.

share|improve this answer
Isn't rsync good only for one direction sync? Please see my updated question. –  Cesar Jul 30 '10 at 4:47
@Cesar: I updated my answer. –  Nathan Osman Jul 30 '10 at 5:14
Unison-GTK is greate for this purpose, it normally handles all two-way-changes in the way you would expect them to be handled, so you have to just click "Go". The only downside of unison is that it is not really maintained anymore by its developers so there won't be any new features etc. –  Marcel Stimberg Jul 30 '10 at 12:16

I know it's an old question, but, as it might be an answer for someone, I wanted to say I'm giving FreeFileSync a try, an opensource application bundled with another utility, named RealTimeSync. This last one triggers a command (presumably, FreeFileSync, but I believe you can actually execute any command line) whenever the contents of a folder is changed (or when that folder becomes available). I will update outcomes, but, at first glance, looks promising (despite the scarce and windows-oriented documentation).

Update: seems to work well. I set RealTimeSync to watch for availability and/or changes of two folders (source and destination) and run a Sync job when that happened, and all went well. Deletions propagated, too, with a (I think) nice feature: deleted files (those deleted by FreeFileSync as a result of the syncing) go to a folder inside trash (or inside a folder of your choice), named with FFS+time-date stamp.

Still have to test it under hard conditions (large syncing jobs, over a large amount of files) to check speed of file comparison. Will do tomorrow.

share|improve this answer
You can download it from there –  chtfn Jul 18 at 2:49
I tried it and it is very easy to use, with several modes (two-way, mirror, update and custom). I did a 37.3 Gb synchronisation in 17 mn through USB 2.0 for a folder that is more than 224 Gb. –  chtfn Jul 18 at 4:46

I usually use rsync in these scenarios; there is a GUI version called grsync but I don't know how easy it is to use.

share|improve this answer
Isn't rsync good only for one direction sync? Please see my updated question. –  Cesar Jul 30 '10 at 4:47

I think the best software for this situation would be DirSyncPro (V1.4). You can check their website here. This software is written using java, hence it does not have to be installed and is very portable. It has several features like backup, synchronizing files, mirroring drives and is a freeware solution.

It is under active development and you can guarantee to get new features frequently.The software is mature, stable and an ideal backup software. Give it a try without any hassle of installation.

I have attached a screenshot of the software below.

enter image description here

It works both bidirectional and mono-directional making it an ideal backup software. You can also schedule backups, create exception and save the job preferences thereby not having to create one every time you want to backup something.

I am just a user of this software, very impressed by its reliability and features that it possesses.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.