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An alternative for unsupported Symlinks and half-baked Backups ?

An alternative for unsupported Symlinks and half-baked Backups ?

Explorer | Level 4

Sorry for the somewhat  lengthy post, but I like to create some background for my complaint and plea.

 

For 35 years, I've been using the same system for organizing files on my Mac. Never changed the essence of it – and never did the Mac change it's Finder filing system. Well, actually, it did – twice: when they moved from MFS to HFS in 1985, and from the Classic Mac OS to the Unix flavor in 2001. But one aspect never changed: the sacred Desktop

 

All my files and folders with all my work projects and private stuff, they all stem somewhere from the Desktop (folder). Apple's rigid set of prepared folders for Documents, Pictures, Movies, Music, etc. simply doesn't cut it for me. 

 

I've been using all kinds of hardware and software for my backups, both manually (ChronoSync, Carbon Copy Cloner) and automatically (Apple's own Time Machine and Capsule). But moving more and more into cloud-based collaboration, it's time to say goodbye to these tecgnically or temporally restricted methods. Time to get hooked-up and synced with a cloud supplier !

 

Now there are many popular offerings, and I tried and considered quite a few. My shortlist: 

Apple iCloud – nahh... the slow performance and overall 'closed' behavior plus its new name Apple One is giving me the creeps...

MS Live Folders, SkyDrive, OneDrive – simply too slow and too flawed, and a tremendous lack of trust in its fail-safe operation.

Google Drive and Google One – another one changing it's name ! Google truly excels in Search (in content) but not in speed.

DropBox – the block-syncing is leaving all others behind, and DropBox has no other intentions than to do what they're good at.

 

I also learnt about some time ago that Dropbox supports symlinking to sync not just its default Dropbox folder, but also other folders, like the Desktop or user libraries like Fonts. And recently Dropbox also started to offer Backup and Restore features. It all sounds great !

 

So after some testing and thinking, I settled on Dropbox Personal to get my terabytes up into the cloud, and let my MacBook act as just another agile mirror of my cloud-based repository.

 

But that didnt work.

Unfortunately, Symlinking is not supported anymore.

And Backup yields a terrible experience on your local system. (E.g. all your local paths display some adapted file path.) It's not a mature and properly customisable feature, yet. And it certainly can't serve as an alternative for Symlinking.

 

What's on the roadmap for me, to achieve what I initially wanted to do, in an elegant way ?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: An alternative for unsupported Symlinks and half-baked Backups ?

Dropboxer

Hey, @Petertje, welcome to our online community!


I want to thank you for the background info you provided. You obviously know your stuff, and have investigated this thoroughly. 


Indeed, our handling of symlinks has changed in recent times. From what I understand about your workflow, I’m afraid that I don’t have anything to suggest. I dare to guess that you’re not the only one in this position, so I’d suggest also trying other community boards, perhaps a bit more Mac-focused.

 

For now, besides our Backup feature, anything you want to be synced to the cloud would need to be in your Dropbox folder. 


I wish I could be more helpful.
Cheers


Sanchez
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https:confused face:/dropbox.com/support


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View solution in original post

2 Replies 2

Re: An alternative for unsupported Symlinks and half-baked Backups ?

Dropboxer

Hey, @Petertje, welcome to our online community!


I want to thank you for the background info you provided. You obviously know your stuff, and have investigated this thoroughly. 


Indeed, our handling of symlinks has changed in recent times. From what I understand about your workflow, I’m afraid that I don’t have anything to suggest. I dare to guess that you’re not the only one in this position, so I’d suggest also trying other community boards, perhaps a bit more Mac-focused.

 

For now, besides our Backup feature, anything you want to be synced to the cloud would need to be in your Dropbox folder. 


I wish I could be more helpful.
Cheers


Sanchez
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https:confused face:/dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
Still stuck? Ask me a question!
Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

View solution in original post

Re: An alternative for unsupported Symlinks and half-baked Backups ?

Explorer | Level 4

Thanks for your quick and candid reply !

Let's wait and see if this Symlink policy changes, or whether alternative features are added or improved over the year. For now, my subscription turns out quite useless. Let's consider it as a back-payment for all the help and joy the free Dropbox account brought me over the past decade...

Cheers

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