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I want to sync subscribed feeds, e.g. rss and atom feeds, in Thunderbird between computers.

Here is an example case to describe what I'm asking for. Say that I have the following setup:

  1. A laptop on which I've in Thunderbird subscribed to certain feeds.
  2. A desktop on which I've in Thunderbird subscribed to certain feeds.

What I want is that the subscribed feeds in Thunderbird are the same on the laptop and the desktop. For example if I add a subscription on the laptop it will also be added to the desktop and if I remove a subscription from the desktop it will also be removed from the laptop. Also, I want posts that are read on one computer to be marked as read on the other computer.

If it matters my particular setup is such that I can connect to my desktop from anywhere via an URL but my laptop is harder to access since it might be behind NAT and such. Also, I'm already syncing other things with Unison.

share|improve this question

You can use dropbox and symlinks from your ~/Dropbox folder to your ~/.thunderbird folder to sync the relevant files.

For example: On the first system:

  • mv ~/.thunderbird ~/Dropbox/thunderbirdsync
  • ln -s ~/Dropbox/thunderbirdsync ~/.thunderbird

On the second one:

  • rm -i -r ~/.thunderbird (I believe you are using the same mail accounts on each system?)
  • ln -s ~/Dropbox/thunderbirdsync ~/.thunderbird

NB: You can do this from your file manager as well, though it would be more complicated to explain in text.

P.S. if anyone spots any mistakes, edit the answer, or leave a comment.

share|improve this answer
My system uses ~/.thunderbird (clean install of 11.04). Also, what would be the relevant files and how would this handle conflicts? – N.N. Aug 26 '11 at 6:35
@N.N.: see my update. So long as you use the same user name on each system, I think you should be fine with syncing the files this way. There wouldn't be any conflicts. In this example I chose the entire folder because that simplifies the process, otherwise I would have to mention particular files. – RolandiXor Aug 26 '11 at 13:53
The comments to warns against this practice because of file corruption. What would happen if I use both the laptop and desktop at the same time and browse feeds? How is a conflict resolved if one happens? – N.N. Aug 26 '11 at 13:57
@N.N.: afaik Dropbox just creates a copy of the file with a name such as "n.n's conflicted copy" if you use the same file on different computers at the same time. You are unlikely to face file corruption (I've used dropbox for similar work before). – RolandiXor Aug 26 '11 at 14:01
~/.thunderbird contains much more than the files relevant for feeds e.g. mail and I only want to sync the feeds. On my system its almost 300 MB so that would mean to sync lots that I don't want to sync. – N.N. Aug 26 '11 at 14:08

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