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At the end of the day I would like to be able to copy files to my home PC just in case I feel inspired to work on them in the evening. But I only want to do this if the PC is on already. (I can remote wake-on-lan the PC but I don't want to always be doing that).

I would like some taskbar applet that shows the status of the PC and whether I can ssh into it or not. Obviously it would also be interesting to have an idea as to how long it is on for whilst I am at work as that gives a good indication of whether anyone is in or not. However being able to unobtrusively copy files to the remote machine is the main objective.

Perhaps another approach is to run rsync on cron and if the remote host is not up then I guess it will fail. Is that correct?

If anyone else has ideas on how to best sync a work and home PC then please do tell.

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closed as too localized by Jorge Castro, Eric Carvalho, RolandiXor, Luis Alvarado, Tom Brossman Jan 2 '13 at 8:39

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question appears to be abandoned and unanswered, could you perhaps add more detail to your question? If this question no longer applies then you can either delete it or answer it yourself if you've solved the problem. Thanks! – Tachyons Apr 5 '12 at 18:27
Just use Ubuntu One or DropBox to sync the files. – Tom Brossman Apr 5 '12 at 18:54

I think the simplest approach is to forget about taskbar applets or detecting the state of the work machine, and use a third-party syncing service. Ubuntu One is the native client and Dropbox is another fine choice. Configure the same account on the home and work machines and you will have access to the files whenever you like.

There are some caveats to this. First, you said you want to 'unobtrusively' copy files. If someone is sitting at the work machine and you save a new file (or version) they may see the Dropbox icon change as it syncs, or an Ubuntu one NotifyOSD message briefly show. These aren't secret or stealthy ways of moving files, if that's important to you.

The second issue is security. If you have a requirement to encrypt the files in transit (you mentioned SSH) then you should know that neither service encrypts data by default. That's not too hard to overcome. This answer by @Uli explains a method I use and recommend.

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