Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sync Your Desktop Between Computers Using Dropbox [Syncing]


Sync Your Desktop Between Computers Using DropboxWe've detailed how to use Dropbox to sync your home folder across platforms, but for people whose entire workflow revolves around their desktop, that's not necessarily enough. The Mac blogger at Not Very Correct describes how he syncs his desktop, as well.

On Macs
His method is something we've seen before. Essentially he's created a symlink to sync files and folders outside the My Dropbox folder. On a Mac, the command looks like:

open up terminal and run the following commands

mv desktop desktop.bak
ln -s /Users/username/Dropbox/ ./Desktop

(change username for your Mac username)
Things may go screwy for a bit, but don't worry. Your next step is to reboot your Mac and login again.
You may then want to go to your Desktop.bak directory and copy the files you want back to Desktop.

On Windows
Not Very Correct's post only covers syncing your Mac desktop, but I think we can get to the bottom of this on Windows.

Windows users looking for a similar solution could try the JUNCTION utility, as described here; the handy utility Dropbox Folder Sync makes syncing folders outside of Dropbox easier, adding a Sync with Dropbox option to your right-click context menu. I haven't tested it on Windows, though, and I don't want to send anyone down the wrong path untested. It seems like you might need to use a relative path to your desktop in order to get desktop syncing working correctly—say something like %USERPROFILE%\Desktop—which you'd probably need to do from the command line using something like JUNCTION or mklink. I could be mistaken (maybe something as simple as using Dropbox Folder Sync would work), so if anyone's syncing desktops across Windows computers via Dropbox, we'd love to hear how you did it, and will update the post with your suggestions.