I tried this by email first but haven’t heard back so maybe forum is a better venue.
One line summary: Hoping YOU can tell me the optimal way of setting up odrive folders to work with Amazon Drive with multiple family members and devices.
As you will see below, I have spent a very long time on the forums already trying to figure this out, but with limited success. If there already is a thread for this, with it clearly summarized, then please just let me know.
I’m trying to set up a family/home network and want to get it right the first time. I think I see where Tony suggests “a separate odrive folder for each user and using the default locations that are created during the initial odrive run for that user”. I was hoping someone could help me expand that into simpler terms and steps. How do I set up a “separate odrive folder for each user” and what is meant by the “default locations that are created during the initial odrive run for that user?”
Let’s try to simplify my situation. Let’s say I have just three family members using 3 different laptops and 3 different external hard drives in various combinations, but want to keep one odrive (O1) and one Amazon Cloud Drive (ACD1) account link.
L= Laptop (hard drive)
H= External hard drive
O= odrive account
ACD= Amazon Cloud Drive
For the most part, U1 uses L1 as his primary laptop, and usually uses H1 there. Sometimes, however, U1 also attaches H2 to L1. At other times, he may use H2 on L2. And so on. Until U2 comes along and jumps back on his machine, L2, which still has H2 attached.
U1, L1, H1
U1, L1, H1, H2
U1, L2, H2
U2, L2, H2
I currently only have one UID for odrive (O1). Is the recommendation that each user should have their own UID for odrive with concomitant folder, and need to log in separately each time they access a machine? That will be too much to ask I think you’ll agree, or certainly too much to expect to be able to rely on happening.
Assuming the entire family can use the same odrive UID (O1) with persistent login on all machines, then are you suggesting the single odrive folder with sub-folders for each user?
L2/odrive/U1/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
L2/odrive/U2/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
Then ACD1 would also have separate folders based on User:
ACD1/U1/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
ACD1/U2/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
But I thought Tony was concerned about syncing across all devices, so there would be concern with the placeholders when viewed by U3 back on L1:
L1/odrive/U3/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
Or if they go into U1’s folders to collaborate:
L1/odrive/U1/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
So perhaps it would be better to keep separate folders by machine as well, which would then be synced across all machines, with every machine seeing all folders?
ACD1/L1/U1/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
ACD1/L1/U2/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
ACD1/L2/U1/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
ACD1/L2/U2/Documents …/Movies …/Pictures …/Music
Finally, does U1 need to keep H2 only connected to L1 for sync, or will odrive recognize and sync the folders on H2 regardless of what laptop U1 attaches H2 to?
So… I think I’ve given enough of a start here to all the possible combinations so you know where I’m going with this. This doesn’t even count the phones, which will have to be synced separately with ACD1 outside of O1 using Amazon’s phone sync app.
Before I get too far down the rabbit’s hole on my own, perhaps someone with intimate knowledge of odrive could summarize for me (and for other users’ benefit here on the forum) what YOUR best recommendation is for setting up such a family/home network, if you were doing it.
Appendix: Blog References to show you where I’m coming from based on research on this forum, but which I couldn’t make sense of:
One thing I did want to address, though, was the notion of creating a pro sync folder to the same target on multiple machines. This particular scenario is one that I don’t recommend because you are now sharing what I will call “odrive local space” across systems. This may cause some unpredictable behavior. It is actually a similar question, in principle, to this thread here:
I strongly recommend having a separate odrive folder for each user and using the default locations that are created during the initial odrive run for that user.
Chances are that each family member is working on different files, which odrive facilitates better than anyone else with “progressive sync”. You’ve probably already seen this in action, but odrive allows you to sync exactly what you need and nothing more. So, each user can navigate directly to the file they need and work on that specifically, without downloading anything else. This is different than Dropbox, where everything is downloaded by default, regardless of if you need it or not. The result is that you only have duplicate data if users are working on the same exact files.
I realize there may be instances where users will want to access the same files (shared media, for example), but I can’t recommend pointing separate user instances of odrive all to the same odrive directory. Honestly I’ve never tested it, so I can’t say for certain what the result would be. Just off the top of my head, I can imagine some trouble when dealing with placeholder files.
For example, user A expands folder1, and placeholder files are laid down. User B’s odrive instance now sees a new folder appear and foreign placeholder files (it did not create these). Since it did not create the placeholder files it remove s them and lays down its own. User A’s odrive instance may see the removal of the placeholders before the new placeholders are put down and see that as a delete of the file. The item will end up in the odrive trash for user A. Then it will pick up the new placeholder file that User B’s instance put down and see that as foreign and delete it… etc… etc… Since this would be timing-based, it may eventually work out, but I can’t say for certain.
So, bottom line is: don’t smash all the odrive instance folders together. The good news is that odrive has enough safeguards that you shouldn’t lose any data, even with the different instances trying to reconcile all of the foreign local changes that are happening. You could end up seeing stuff randomly appear in odrive trash, though, and other strange behavior…
Pro Sync folders are a “local” construct. They are relationships created between local folders and remote folders. This means they are not proliferated across client instances. It would be unwise and potentially disastrous for us to assume that the relationships created on one local system are going to be the same on the other systems you use for odrive. In most cases it makes no sense to do so. I could argue that in all cases it doesn’t make sense to do this because of the potential for user confusion, odrive confusion, and general unexpected behavior. I covered this a bit already in this post: General Sync Questions and Observations
Since you chose to replicate the local pro folder relationships on a new device, that client now has to not only scan the entirety of the local structure, but it needs to scan the entirety of the remote structure to determine what exists in both areas, what needs to be synced, and what doesn’t. There is no general equation to determine the length of this process. It will depend on the number of folders, the number of files, the speed of the local source (network mounts will be much slower than physical mounts) and the speed and rate limiting of the storage source that is being interrogated for every file and folder.
My recommendation would’ve been to leave the system that had already done the 2TB of imports as the single importer. If you plan to switch again you can expect there to be overhead, as the client will have to figure out what the current state of everything is locally and remotely. Again, I also want to strongly caution against running both Pro Sync folder setups concurrently when they are pointing to the same local storage.
Pointing your local Documents folder on multiple systems to the same folder in the cloud is actually safer because you do not have to worry about multiple odrive instances acting independently, and more importantly, reacting to what the other instances are doing in the same local location. With the containerized local folders (like Documents or Pictures on your desktop or laptop) sync will do its thing. You will run the risk of overwriting documents that have the same names, but everything else should work out okay. It would just create a confusing resulting dataset if you aren’t prepared for it. Even though that is a cool and potentially viable use case, we do not want to push out those Pro Sync folders to every system without the user’s explicit say-so.