[clug] SparkleShare vs. Dropbox

Bob Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Mon Apr 15 17:45:38 MDT 2013

On 15/04/13 10:00 AM, Jamie Carl wrote:
> On 15/04/13 09:32, Bob Edwards wrote:
>> I have been using SparkleShare recently (http://sparkleshare.org), which
>> is a "Dropbox replacement" built on all the goodness of git and ssh etc.
>> (and you can easily run your own server, so complete control over your
>> files etc. - also runs on Macs, 'doze and Linux - but not Android, yet).
>> Anyway, being built on top of git, SparkleShare ends up using up to
>> twice the disk space on each client as compared to just the files it
>> is managing.
>> Eg. I have about 1.5GB of PDFs in a shared "folder" on my client and
>> git adds another 1.4GB for its compressed, cryptographically hashed
>> "repository" of those files. On the server, it only stores the 1.4GB
>> of git stuff, but on each other client that is syncing with my share,
>> there is the same git "overhead".
>> Anyway, I was wondering what disk space overheads Dropbox imposes. As
>> I don't use Dropbox, I was wondering if someone on the list who does
>> could let me know what extra disk space it might be using.
> It's minimal.
> As you are aware, sparkleshare it's just a fancy sync client that sits
> on top of Git.  So it maintains a local git repository and hence the
> extra storage requirements.
> If you really want to see it shine, delete all your files and you'll
> find that it will STILL take up 1.4GB. ;)  The good thing is you can
> throw normal Git commands at it from the command line and roll back to
> any revision.  Such is the nature of Git file versioning.
> As for dropbox, it only stores the files and then a 'database' of the
> current state of your files so it doesn't really take up much more
> space.  Maybe a few MB depending on the number of files you are syncing.
> On a side note, there IS an Android client for Sparkleshare but I don't
> think it works anymore.  It requires some extra server-side software in
> order to function and I think that software is broken.  At least, I was
> never able to get it to work.
> Jamie

Thanks to everyone who responded to my query. I am now much more

I especially like the pointer to ownCloud - don't know how I missed that
one previously.

I didn't specify my use requirements, which include easy installation
on a variety of clients so that, eg. my in-laws can install it on
whatever they are using these days ('doze, I assume) without any tech
help from me. I did look at git-annex, but it is very much targetted
at IT-aware folk (and doesn't easily support 'doze). I wasn't so aware
of the significance of those sym-links vs. SparkleShare's complete git
repository approach.

SparkleShare is really good - covers many platforms and is v. easy to
install and setup. But I think I'll try ownCloud for a while and see
how it goes with the disk space issue.


Bob Edwards.

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