keep Your Files Synchronized With Unison


Unison is a simple tool that allows you to synchronize your files between two locations. It allows two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other.

Some of the unique features in Unison include:

  • It is compatible with both Unix and Windows, making it a versatile synchronization tool across all OS.
  • Monitoring of the two replicas for updates. Changes make to any of the replica that are propagated to the other replica automatically. If there is any conflict detected, it will be displayed on the screen.
  • Able to work with a local directory, SSH, RSH and Socket.
  • It is resilient to failure. It is careful to leave the replicas and its own private structures in a sensible state at all times, even in case of abnormal termination or communication failures.

Install Unison in Ubuntu

Click here to install unison and unison-gtk.

Alternatively, in your terminal, type

sudo apt-get install unison unison-gtk

Go to Applications -> Accessories -> Unison

When Unison first start, it will prompt you to set up a new profile. Select the folder that you want to synchronize.


Next, select the folder that you want to back up to.


Click OK.

The first time you sync, Unison will show a warning message. After reading, click Ok to close it.


Unison will now start to scan the source and destination for error.


Once that is done, click the Go button to start the sync.


That’s it!

If you are intending to sync with another machine over ssh, first make sure that the destination machine already has unison and ssh installed.

When choosing the destination folder, enter the ssh information:


Unison will contact the server and ask you for password when successful.

Similarly, press Go to start the synchronization once the verification is completed.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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