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FTP sync for Windows with Linux server

Posted on 2013-12-19
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Last Modified: 2014-01-13
This is a discussion question, so will award points for any useful suggestion.

I'm looking for a client for Win 7 that will sync with a Linux server via FTP. The server is hosting a website and I want to manage some of the files.

Here are my requirements:
Local cached copy. I don't want the latency of working live on the server.
Automatic sync. Changes made to server or cache will be propagated to the other. Knowing sync status would be useful.
Ability in the cache to manage server's permissions. I'd like some items to be not publicly available.
Navigation of server file structure. Having a GUI that gives a tree structure would be nice but not essential.
Secure connection. SFTP would be nice but not essential.
I've looked at a variety of FTP clients. I haven't found one that will provide a local cache in which I can manage the server file permissions, since Windows' structure is so different than Linux.

Any ideas?
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Question by:BlearyEye
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 167 total points
ID: 39729921
I have never heard of what you are looking for.  I never work 'live' on the server, always edit 'locally'.  But I would also never use an Automatic Sync because I think that would almost guarantee that it would take your site down someday when it sync'd up a file that wasn't ready or had errors.

In addition, my ftp program has connections to over 60 client's sites and in some cases, other people upload files to them also.  While the automatic sync would occasionally help when they don't tell about the new files they have uploaded, it would still be a problem when their files don't contain all the right info.  Which has happened all too often.  I don't want to sync to a bad file.
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by:omarfarid
omarfarid earned 166 total points
ID: 39730097
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AlexPace earned 167 total points
ID: 39730737
The FTP protocol does not have any means of setting file permissions.  Some FTP servers have custom SITE commands that allow it, but not most.

SFTP also doesn't have any file permissions but it runs on top of SSH so some SFTP clients allow you to attempt to execute a shell command... so you could do it if the server is configured to allow it.

Another idea that could work with either FTP or SFTP is to use a "dev" folder that is excluded from the synchronization process so stuff in that folder doesn't get uploaded to the live server.  

Another issue with automatic sync is that everyone makes mistakes so if you are editing a file and it gets synced before you are done fixing it then there will be some period of time when the half-done file is on the server...  what if you didn't finish until tomorrow so it stayed half done overnight?  

So anyway, I think it would be better to not do it automatically but instead you would have some process where you "push a button" to sync when it is done.

OK, now that I've said all that I will try to answer your question:
I do FTP sync using a Robo-FTP script installed to run as a Windows Service.  The script is written to ignore certain types of files so they are never uploaded.  My script does not set permission on the remote server and I don't think Robo-FTP can even do the SSH thing I mentioned above but thats not something I need.  It is very capable, it does everything I need, but I'm not sure if it does everything you need.
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by:BlearyEye
ID: 39732053
Looks like I threw everyone off by the "automatic" part. In my case, automatic would be fine; I'm updating reference docs, so nothing very important would break in case of an error. But on-demand sync would be fine and probably preferable.

Back to my main point: I want to sync, and I want to preserve Linux permissions on both ends. From the comments, it looks like S/FTP is not a good protocol for this in any event.

nfs looks like something that would let me control the file permissions of a Linux server from Windows, but does not address the fact that files stored in NTFS on Windows have a different permission structure than those stored on Ext2 or similar file system on Linux. This means that syncing while preserving Linux permissions would not work. I think samba has a similar issue tho that's not entirely clear to me.

I think rsync would be relevant only between Linux systems, or at least, Linux file systems. Maybe an option for this--a bit extreme--would be to partition my drive and install an ext2 file system on the new partition, and then rsync from that partition ...
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 39776798
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

The question has either no comments or not enough useful information to be called an "answer".
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Author Closing Comment

by:BlearyEye
ID: 39776799
I did not get a definitive answer to this question, but the responses were useful and clarifying. I'll add a comment to this later on if I come up with something that suits my needs.

Thanks to all ...
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