Syncing data and services between Windows and Linux

Ubuntu and Windows

Image credit: cellanr

I run a Windows 7 PC, an Ubuntu desktop PC and an Acer netbook with Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10. It’s important to keep my data and services synchronised between them so each machine is up to date with the latest files and cloud services, and so I thought I’d run through the software and services which I currently use:

Google Chrome

This is my browser of choice. You can use Chrome to keep your tabs, bookmarks and extensions synchronised. I’m using Chromium (the open source version of Chrome) on my Ubuntu netbook and Chrome on my Windows desktop and everything syncs just fine. To start syncing between Chrome/Chromium on your different devices, just go to the spanner/wrench icon at the top right of the browser on each of your machines and choose Options then the tab marked Personal Stuff. Click Set up sync and when it’s done you’ll see

google sync

At the moment you can choose to keep everything synced or choose to sync any or all of Apps, Autofill, Bookmarks, Extensions, Preferences and Themes.  Doesn’t have password sync yet but I believe this is coming in the next Chrome version. Of course, the Chrome Xmarks extension will also allow automatic synchronization of bookmarks, passwords and open tabs between Windows and Ubuntu machines.

Next, here’s two cloud services I keep running in my first two Chrome tabs from the left so they’re always synced between my machines.

BulleTxt

This is a simple online note taking app which I always have open in one tab. I’ve always had bits of paper with short term notes on my desk and I’m finding BulleTxt is great to clear the notes and have them all available on whatever PC I’m using. You can rearrange notes and also indent them. Wasn’t sure what to use it for at first but I’m finding more and more uses now. For example:

1. Keep a list of the URLs of websites I have to go back to for various reasons, e.g. to check new comments there, or perhaps someone shared a link and the site is down. Just paste the URL into BulleTxt and go back later.

2. Copy snippets of text between PCs.

3. To-do list (but I prefer the next app I’ll mention, Doris).

You can log into BulleTxt via Google/GMail, Facebook, Twitter, and Live ID (HotMail, MSN).

Doris

I love the simplicity of Doris, an online to-do list and I keep another Chrome tab always open with it. Make a simple task list, reorder tasks, edit them, group your tasks, etc. And of course your tasks are always synced between your machines.

Nevernote

I’ve been using Evernote to capture stuff for a while now on my PC but always wished for a desktop client on my Linux box. I’d heard on a number of podcasts (including the Evernote podcast) that there wasn’t an Evernote desktop client for Linux. Well thanks to the guys at OMG! Ubuntu I’ve discovered Nevernote, an open source client for Evernote which allows offline access to all your notes on your Linux machine. So now I have my Evernote notes synced on Windows and Ubuntu.

Dropbox

I hardly need to mention this one I think, except to say there’s a Linux client so you can share and sync the files in your Dropbox folder between Windows and Ubuntu.

ZumoDrive

But Dropbox only gives 2GB of free storage, so sign up with ZumoDrive for a further 2GB of free synced storage (although to reach 2GB, you increase an initial 1GB offering by progressing through various stages culminating in sharing a file). You can also get a further 1GB by having a friend sign up for the service. What I like about it is its slightly different approach to syncing compared with Dropbox.  ZumoDrive uses the concept of nominated linked folders. Any files in the linked folders will be synced to the ZumoDrive servers and on to your other devices where ZumoDrive is installed.

Well that’s how I keep my Ubuntu and Windows machines synced. What software and services do you use to sync your files and data between Windows and Linux?

One Response

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