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Completely synchronise multiple Macs

I've got a MacBook Pro and a Mac Mini, and I want to keep them in sync: all files and folders, all settings, all everything.

Here's what I know won't work: Dropbox, iCloud.

Here's what I know might work: install Mountain Lion Server on the Mac Mini as my "main" computer in an admin account, then use that to create a separate network account / portable home directory / mobile users / something like that, then make that account the default one on my MacBook Pro.

The problem is that I have absolutely no clue how to do this and I'd like to get some help.

I'm aware that I may have to use a few different things to do the full sync - like setting up OS X server to do most of the work, but still using Dropbox for certain files and something like Chronosync for others.

Please tell me where to start.

  • How do you want to handle settings which must be different on the two Macs (e.g. window size preferences, Mail states etc.)? It's probably better to use Dropbox to sync documents etc. and keep the rest local – nohillside Dec 26 '12 at 8:32
  • Might be relevant: support.apple.com/kb/HT5338 – Saaru Lindestøkke Dec 26 '12 at 8:54
  • Hi patrix, thanks for helping me clarify what I'm trying to do. The way I see it is that the Mac Mini will be the main computer / server where everything lives and to/from which it will all get backed up, and the MacBook Pro will be the client where I do a lot of my actual work. That's why I initially was attracted to the Mountain Lion Server with network accounts idea. I have been keeping most things local and syncing some documents via Dropbox for a while, but it's not been working the way I like - I want a much tighter and more complete sync than that. – gesher Dec 26 '12 at 18:02
  • Hi Bart, thanks - I did I actually see that very same knowledgebase article. I agree that it might be relevant. But I can not tell from reading through it if it's actually going to do what I want. Also, it's written from the perspective that presumes that I've already got the server and network accounts configuration running adequately, but I don't, and I don't know how to do that. – gesher Dec 26 '12 at 18:09
  • I am trying to do the same thing as apple.stackexchange.com/questions/42911/… - the only difference is that he trying to do it with Snow Leopard and I'm doing it with Mountain Lion. There have been some changes to the OS X server package in the last few iterations that may include major functional evolutions and may just mean different names on a lot of the same features. It's hard for me to tell exactly what's different and what's the same from when that guy asked the question years ago. That's why I asked it again now. – gesher Dec 26 '12 at 18:18

Have you tried Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.bombich.com)? it has a sync feature that may help you.

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  • The asker is looking for a specific syncing solution. While CCC may have features which could be of use here, it would help if you could elaborate a bit more on how the application could support a syncing workflow. – nohillside Dec 26 '12 at 9:44
  • Hi yorch, thanks for the idea. I have used CCC for backup and restore, but I am not really sure that it would work for what I'm trying to do, which is keep two computers in sync all the time. But I did just ask this question over there, to find out if they have any ideas: help.bombich.com/discussions/questions/…. – gesher Dec 26 '12 at 17:58

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