It is not clear how the file sync aspect of Ubuntu One is started, nor whether it is running at any given point in time, nor what the progress is being made during sync.


In Ubuntu, the process in charge of keeping a user's file synced with the user's cloud storage on Ubuntu One is called the "Ubuntu One SyncDaemon". It lives in /usr/lib/ubuntuone-client/ubuntuone-syncdaemon, and is included in a default Ubuntu Desktop installation. In this default install a lightweight check is made as to whether you are signed up to Ubuntu One, and if so the syncdaemon is started automatically for you, 30 seconds after login. The syncdaemon then checks your files for local changes, and then connects to the server; after the initial synchronization, everything should "just work".

A few bugs can get in the way of things "just working"; most notable right now are LP:651237 (which has been fixed, and we're working on getting it out to everybody affected) and LP:683116 (which is in progress and should be fixed before 10.04.2).

There are several ways you can confirm that it is working for you. The easiest is probably to open ubuntuone-preferences, which you can find under System > Preferences > Ubuntu One:

ubuntuone-preferences http://ubuntuone.com/p/ScT/

Note the "Synchronization complete" label; this can change to "Synchronization in progress..." or "Disconnected", as appropriate. Furthermore the device with the bandwidth limits controls and the Connect/Disconnect/Restart buttons is the local computer.

Some people want more information than "working/not working"; Roman Yepishev developed a very nice indicator for the syncdaemon, which you can read about on his blog and install via the ppa: ppa:rye/ubuntuone-extras. It looks like this:

roman's indicator http://ubuntuone.com/p/J4U/

You can get a little more detail by opening a terminal and typing u1sdtool --status. Note that is u-one-ess-dee (for Ubuntu One Sync Daemon), not u-ell-ess-dee. One piece of valuable information you can get from u1sdtool is the progress of individual transfers, as you can see:

u1sdtool http://ubuntuone.com/p/Scd/

Another way is by installing magicicada Install magicicada

If you're in 10.04 LTS, you can grab it off ppa:chicharreros/ppa. magicicada connects you straight into the firehose of information put out by the syncdaemon, so beware:

magicicada http://ubuntuone.com/p/Scc/

the future

In the brainstorm that inspired this Q/A, solution #1 looks very nice, but is probably beyond what we can build right now (but we'd take patches!). A variation of this might be possible by abusing the emblems a little; it's currently being looked into.

Solution #2 has a problem that as far as I can tell makes it unimplementable: progress of the file sync as a whole is very hard to present to the user in a meaningful way, because the "whole" can and will change during the synchronization process.

Solution #5 is what is coming in 11.04: we're integrating syncdaemon with the zeitgeist engine, and will be using zeitgeist to help us aggregate the events when necessary and present the user with useful status information (rather than the deluge that was the applet). The majority of this work still needs to be done, so unfortunately there is nothing to show.

If Ubuntu gained a unified way of reporting progress), we'd work to interface with that; this would presumably give us notifications for large up/downloads as well

  • 2
    woot, Chipaca your answer is wonderful =) – Marcos Roriz Junior Dec 8 '10 at 12:23
  • All your images are dead now that Ubuntu One is gone. – Seth Mar 12 '17 at 17:49

You can do it by CLI or install a indicator:


To check the status of ubuntuone (connected, etc) do:

u1sdtool -s 

It will print something like:

    connection: With User With Network
    description: processing queues
    is_connected: True
    is_error: False
    is_online: True
    queues: IDLE

To check the current transfers (upload/download) do:

u1sdtool --current-transfers

It will print something like:

Current uploads:
  path: /home/marcos/Ubuntu One/Imagens/Flames/legendary-trap (cópia).jpg
    deflated size: 49724
    bytes written: 0
Current downloads: 0


Install the ubuntuone-indicator indicator that will provide some info on the tray area.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rye/ubuntuone-extras

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-indicator

If the status description is "processing queues" and the queues message is "WORKING_ON_BOTH", the --current-transfer option will not be very useful in determing activity. In this case, I've found the following command, which gets a count of files' metadata being processed, to help in determining activity:

u1sdtool --waiting-meta | wc -l

Once transfers begin, you will get some info from the --current-transfer option. However, it won't give you much of a status report. Another command, which gets a count of files waiting to sync, can be useful in determining progress:

u1sdtool --waiting-content | wc -l

In Ubuntu 11.04 and newer these two commands have been combined:

u1sdtool --waiting | wc -l

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