bdainis

How To Handle Multi User Versioning

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I am brand new to BitTorrent Sync and this forum. I have a question about how to handle something I am trying to use this product for. Essentially I am using this to sync up several workstations with one another having a central server containing all data. Each work station will have selected folders based on its specific needs. 

 

The issue I have is version control. My understanding is that whoever saves the files last will be the one who retains the file changes and the person who saves first will loose their changes. Another fear I have is if somebody accidentally deletes files or a directory in their environment and the deletion spreads to all environments causing data loss.

 

I thought about using some kind of file indexing or version control system in parallel with BTSync such as git. The issue is that I have millions of files and roughly 500Gb in data total. Git cannot handle that amount of data well and most other centralized version control systems won't really do what Im looking for. One other thing to point out is that the data being stored is all different types of files from office documents, Adobe creative files, source code, compiled files, archived files, sound, video, etc. 

 

Does anybody have any ideas on what I can do to solve this problem? 

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Well, I guess the first point to make is that Sync is primarily a file synchronization tool, rather than a file collaboration tool.

 

You are correct, that assuming you're sharing "full access" links/keys between your devices that if someone deletes a file from one device, it will also be removed from all other devices. However, this is not an outright "delete", rather on all other devices the file will instead be "moved" to that folder's .sync/archive folder where it will persist for 7 days (by default, although you can change this duration).

 

The alternative would be to use "read only" links/keys. On devices with such links/keys, files which are deleted there won't also be removed from other devices. Although, this also applies to any new/changed files - they won't propagate to other devices either.

 

So, if you have as you say a "central server" and different workstations require access to different folders on that "central server", you could consider adding folders on the "central server" with "read only" keys, and then give a corresponding "full access" key for a particular folder to one workstation, and another to another. That way, only one workstation will be able to update the contents of their folder on the "central server" - others can still access the content, but won't be able to make changes, etc.

 

As I say, though, do remember that Sync is primarily a file synchronization tool, rather than a file collaboration tool - it's not designed for multiple people to all be working on the same file/document at the same time and then for all their respective changes to be "merged" together - it's designed to ensure that the most up-to-date version of your files is synced to your other devices.

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Thank you for this detailed explanation of the tool. It was very helpful. I am still working to determine how I can use the tool and if its the best solution for the current problem Im working to address now. Even so, I think I will find many other uses for it in the future. 

 

One final question I'm trying to find the answer to: 

I have found that btsync running on my linux server is storing files under the root user. I have been unable to find out how I can set it to store files under a particular linux user which can then be accessed via an sFTP server I have setup. Is there some configuration method to set this? 

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