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I use OS X for development and I want to push changes to dev server on every ⌘+S.
When I check out a different branch, I want the local folder to update accordingly.

So I figured I need an automatic, two-way sync solution.

My editor of choice is Sublime Text (which is awesome, you totally should check it out).
I began my quest with Sublime Text SFTP plugin by Will Bond but found it unstable and slow.

Then I attacked the problem with Panic Transmit.
It is stunningly beautiful. However, it didn't help me either.

Transmit offers two options:

  • two-way sync between local and remote folder;
  • mount SFTP to the filesystem.

Alas, its two-way sync is manual and has to be invoked by pressing a button.
(I could probably get around this by writing some clever AppleScript—but I don't know it.)

SFTP mounting is great—unfortunately, it has major disadvantages: file searching is predictably slow and there seems to be no way to tell Transmit that files have changed on server. You need to unmount and mount again to see the remote changes. This makes branches impossible to work with.

I'm really confused now and I don't feel like wasting a couple of hours on a wrong solution. I'm open to suggestions for a tool to improve my workflow.

Here's what I found so far. I'm not sure any of those can actually watch remote folder for changes.

Note that I'm looking for a solution that works out of the box. I don't want a tool that can't handle new/changed/deleted files or folders without fiddling with its source code.

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Why not just use a good IDE that can help you doing this? –  Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 14 '12 at 6:13

3 Answers 3

Old question, but here's my answer:

I use a Unix tool called Unison. This is a command-line tool that allows for two way sync.

The good is that it's highly configurable: ignore certain file names, directories, synchronize multiple folders, which side wins in a conflict, many other things.

The bad is that you have to not be scared of the command line and both the server and the client have to have Unison installed; both installations need to be the same version and built with the same version of OCAML.

But I've been using it multiple times an hour every work day for the past year and it's been awesome -- it's really fast, really easy to fire off from the command line.

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Have you considered using something like Git? Hosting the files on GitHub or setting up your own git server.

This should help: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/455698/best-visual-client-for-git-on-mac-os-x

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I do use Git, however I don't have a running environment on my laptop so in order to test each smallest change I have to do a commit and push. This makes commit history meaningless and is somewhat tedious, although this is exactly what I'm doing now, with ST2 & Github for Mac making the experience slightly more fun and less painful. –  Dan Feb 16 '12 at 1:37
Do either of these help? stackoverflow.com/questions/2275010/… or stackoverflow.com/questions/5054174/… –  afragen Feb 16 '12 at 2:48
I'll definitely take a look at these questions, thanks a ton. –  Dan Feb 16 '12 at 2:59

The following AppleScript allows you to sync a remote folder with a local folder using Transmit


Unfortunately, it appears to default to syncing the remote folder with the local, and what I want is the opposite: to download updated files from the server onto my computer.

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