Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to Synchronzie Folders in CrossFTP

Synchronization and Backup are two common tasks for FTP and cloud storage users. You are allowed to do synchronization and backups for any two folders on Amazon S3, WebDav, FTP, iDisk, or your own computer in CrossFTP Pro. To do the synchronization, simply choose Tools -> Synchronize Directories... The synchronization dialog will be displayed as follows:

The left and right top edit box shows the two folders you are trying to synchronize on. A number of options are provided in this Synchronization Dialog.

What to Sync

Describe the content that will be synchronized/backup.
  • Include, exclude - the patterns for you to include or exclude in the synchronization. It is a comma-separated list of patterns of files that must be included/excluded. When both inclusion and exclusion are used, only files/directories that match at least one of the include patterns and don't match any of the exclude patterns are used. If no include pattern is given, all files are assumed to match the include pattern (with the possible exception of the default excludes). The default excludes are empty in CrossFTP. The definition of the patterns can be found here.
  • Include Sub Directories - whether sub directories should be included for the synchronization.
  • Follow Symbolic Link - whether the symbolic link should be followed or just treated as a normal file. If symbolic link needs to be followed, linked file/directory will be retrieved. 

How to Sync

Describe the way how the comparison should be made for two directories' synchronization.
  • Mirror Left to Right - Treat the Left side directory as the basis, and copy every files from left to right. If a file with the same name appeared simultaneously on the left and right, and two files are checked as different, the right side file will be overwritten. If a file appears only on right, you can choose to keep it, or by choosing "Delete Unnecessary Files" to delete it.
  • Ignore Date - If it is checked, CrossFTP does not compare the file's last modified date, and treat them as the same if they have the same size. If it is not checked, two files with same size are treated as different if they have the last modified date differ larger than a given threshold. If your server has a different time zone with your client machine, you can setup the difference between your server and your machine at Site Manger -> Actions.
  • Delete Unnecesary Files - In the Mirror Left to Right mode, if a file appears only on right, the right side file will be overwrited if this option is selected. Otherwise, no action will be performed on the right side file.
  • Case Sensitive - whether the file name's comparison are case sensitive.
Preview your Synchronization/Backup Result

  • Preview - Preview the synchronization result. It will retrieve all the matching files from the synchronization directories, compare the files, and then list the comparison result on the synchronization table below. 
  • Stop - Stop the Preview.
  • Help - Get help information of synchronization.

Filters options help you to refine the synchronization results by a number of directions and criteria. Only filtered results will be appeared in the final synchronization process.
  • Right Direction - Keep or filter all the items that need to copy towards right side.
  • Left Direction - Keep or filter all the items that need to copy towards left side.
  • Equal - Keep or filter all the items that left and right sides are treated as equal.
  • Unequal - Keep or filter all the items that left and right side are treated as unequal.
  • Last Modified in - You can define the number and interval (days, hours, minutes) that the file's last modified time should be within. If selected, only items that meets the last modified condition are appeared in the result set.
Synchronization Actions

These buttons help you to add the previewed sync content to the queue, or save the current synchronization tasks in the queue.
  • Synchronize - Put the previewed result set in the queue and close the synchornization dialog.
  • Queue Settings - Save the what, how, and filters setting in the queue as one queued synchronization item. You can start the queue to process this synchroniztion item by the queue processing engine, shedule this sycn item for future processing, save/load this queue, or modified the sycn item in the synchorniztion dialog. After press this button, the synchornization item will be added in the current queue. If you edit a sycnchronization item in the queue, this Synchronization Dialog will be displayed for modification, and this button's text will be shown as Save.
  • Close - Close the synchronization dialog and do nothing. 
Schedule or Save the Synchronization/Backup Task

You can schedule all the tasks in the queue. Since you can queue the synchronization task in the queue (use Queue Settings button), you can simply schedule the queued sync item (Queue -> Advanced -> Schedule...), or save this queue for future usage (Queue -> Manage Queue -> Save Queue...).


Here we will show an example for you to understand our synchronization/backup process. If you want to backup local machine's forum => remote Amazon S3's forumOld, you can go to local machine's folder in the left pane, remote Amazon S3's folder in the right pane, and choose Tools -> Synchronize Directories... After that, left (source) and right (target) folder's edit box will be automatically filled in with the folders mentioned before. After that, you should choose "include sub directories" and "Mirror Left to Right" options, and then press Preview button. All the results will be displayed in the table below after calculation is made. Finally you can press Synchronize button to add the Sync results in the queue, or if you are satisfied with the setting, use Queue Settings button to store this sync dialog's setting in the queue, so that you can schedule/edit this setting in future. You can also check this link for a screencast.


With the powerful synchronization and backup engine provided in CrossFTP Pro, it is a nice synchronization tool available for your FTP, FXP, WebDav, iDisk, and Amazon S3. Meanwhile it works well on Windows, Mac, and Linux. We hope you will find our post useful and enjoy the easiness of CrossFTP Pro. As always we appreciate your feedback as it helps to make the product better!

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