Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

FreeFileSync is a muti-platform folder comparison and synchronization tool that comes with some very useful features like support for multiple folder pairs, binary files support, can create "batch files" which can be used to automate folder synchronization and others.

FreeFileSync Ubuntu

FreeFileSync features:
  • Multiple pre-defined synchronization settings: Automatic (propagate changes on both sides), Mirror (right folder is modified to exactly match left folder), Update (copy new or updated files to right folder) as well as a custom mode
  • Detect moved, renamed, conflicting files and propagate deletions
  • bytewise / by date file comparison and synchronization
  • Support for multiple folder pairs
  • Support for Linux Symbolic Links and Windows Junction Points
  • Network support
  • Create batch jobs for automated synchronization. You can then run them from the command line, simply double click the file, create a cron job, etc.
  • Filter functionality to include/exclude files from synchronization (you can exclude files by type, date, size
  • Copy file and directory permissions
  • You can select what to do when an error occurs or when the synchronization is completed
  • Easily exclude files from being synced
  • Save/load configurations
  • More
If you're wondering how FreeFileSync compares to other synchronization tools, check out THIS page on Wikipedia.

While the interface is intuitive and highly configurable, it insists on using its own icons which doesn't look too good, but other than this, FreeFileSync is a really great synchronization tool.

FreeFileSync comes with a small application called RealtimeSync that lets you monitor files or folders for changes or when they become available (for example when you insert an USB stick) and execute a command which can be a batch job created with FreeFileSync or any other command.

The application even comes with Unity launcher progress bar support, a feature that Grsync (a great rsync GUI) also got recently.

FreeFileSync is not new - in fact, it's been around for more than 3 years -, but it constantly gets new features and improvements (changelogs available here) which is something I for one always appreciate.

Install FreeFileSync in Ubuntu

Ubuntu Oneiric, Natty and Maverick users can install FreeFileSync from its PPA - open a terminal and copy/paste the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freefilesync/ffs
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install freefilesync

Please note that at the time I'm writing this, the latest FreeFileSync 5.0 is only available for Oneiric. For older Ubuntu releases, there are older FreeFileSync versions (4.0 for Natty and 3.17 for Maverick). If you want the latest version, download it via SourceForge.

There's also a Debian PPA which you can use to install FreeFileSync without any Ubuntu dependencies and an AUR package for Arch Linux users (but it hasn't been updated to the latest version yet)

For other Linux distributions and Windows, download FreeFileSync via SourceForge.