Sync laptop system files with USB install

TL&DR: I assume rsync is the way to go, but I'm wondering if someone has already done something similar or could nudge me in the right direction.

Due to semi-permanently placed dual monitors and the failure of an HDMI adapter, I recently decided to attempt a persistent install on a thumb drive (i3). And apart from a UEFI issue, quickly resolved, all went well. Most of my dot-files are on Dropbox, but I'm now looking for a way to easily--or the recommended way to--sync system files between USB-i3 and my laptop so that both are mostly identical in ux/ui, ide updates, etc.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks, Chris

rsync might work. I'm assuming you want to now update your laptop to be like the install on the thumb drive and be done? Not keep running both and sync them up?

I'd probably recommend something like clonezilla to just clone the thumbdrive to disk.


I realize I was somewhat unclear... I'm specifically interested in (and unclear about) which system files would need to be synced to accomplish this.

.bash_profile, .i3, and so forth.

One option would be to add your $HOME to Syncthing and you'll have everything kept synchronised between both machines.

If you are talking about syncing your home directory (as a one time operation), I would probably just run something like meld so you can specify what files to copy/overwrite. If you want to set something up automatic and repeatable, then I would use meld to get an idea of what directories/files are different and then build the rsync arguments for those directories....

Ah. I thought about that, but:

Would the user need to be the same? (I assume so) I created different users (machine ids) for easy network identification. Also, the laptop is an x220 and the thumb is run mostly on a newer Dell, so no hardware specific configurations? (Hazy about this)

Finally, while not heavily customized, I have done some at the system level (emacs daemon, etc). I also wouldn't have space to sync the entire dir...

I think the local file ownership/UID is set by the user running Syncthing, e.g. my Android phone's files are owned by my PC user on my PC.

That makes sense. Hmm, a conundrum.

While I'm fine syncing extraneous user folders, I just have no idea about which core components/configs need to be synced to preserve some semblance of uniformity.

Sounds like you need to do some exploring of your files to find out what you have and what they do. :wink:

Yep. Worst case scenario is simply a reinstall on the usb.

Thanks guys!

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