Using Rsync on Android: Getting Syncopoli talking to the rsync daemon

Syncthing has largely taken the FOSS throne of continuous file synchronization on both servers and desktops. When it comes to my phone, however, I can still see a use for discrete, on-demand file synchronization – at least if changes only appear on one end, be it on the phone or the server. And for that purpose, there is really nothing else to turn to than good ol’ rsync.

Syncopoli seems to be the most up-to-date rsync client on Android, seeing as it’s code has at least been updated within the past year. Even though I believe I know how the basics of rsync on the command line, Syncopoli is not the most intuitive of mobile apps and presents some special problems. In the following I will detail both setting up the rsync daemon on the server and getting a Syncopoli setup that matches the server.

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Android Aside: Enchanced Email is the best app for Exchange ActiveSync account

While most android issues or apps do not fall under the umbrella of linux or foss by any means, some android solutions are less obnoxious than others from a linux/foss user standpoint. Therefore I want to give shoutouts to an app from time to time for the achievement of being The Lesser Evil.

Today I spent some time researching and trying out various solutions for getting Exchange ActiveSync to work on my Samsung Nexus. The Exchange client in stock Android used to do the trick for me but not so in Cyanogenmod 10.2.*. While email and contacts synced, the client no longer added a calendar to the device’s list of synced calendars. Furthermore the stock app required – as it also had previously – adding the Exchange account administrators to the device’s list of remote administrators. What this means – or at least appears to mean – is that I had to give the Exchange account administrators the right to remotely wipe my device. This is just to name the most frightening of a laundry list of rights the app informed me I was signing over whenever I added the email account. My problem with this was that this was my device, not the company’s and this setup was obviously designed for company owned and strictly controlled phones.

To cut to the chase I have tried out a few paid apps (trial versions) to see if any would allow me to a) sync email, calendar and contacts from my work account and b) avoid signing over my personal phone to some random it guy who happens to be in charge of email accounts.

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