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How to sync data between two computers

August 05, 2008

If you install Fanurio on two different computers (desktop and laptop) or two different platforms (Windows and Mac OS X), it's very likely you will want to keep your data synchronized. Here are some common situations:

  • If you do consulting work and you need to travel a lot, you may have a laptop and a desktop PC in your office. When you get back to the office, you may want to sync the desktop with the laptop.
  • You're a big Mac fan but unfortunately you have to do some of your work on Windows. You want to use Fanurio to track time while on Windows and then sync this information with the Mac.

This post explains how to synchronize your data between two computers. There are multiple ways to do it, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, this post will make it easy for you to choose the right one.

I. USB stick installation

The first solution is also the easiest. Instead of installing Fanurio on two or more computers, install it on a USB stick. This will save you the trouble of synchronizing the data because it will always be kept on the stick.

Download the cross-platform version and follow these instructions to install it. The nice thing about the cross-platform version is that you can install it on a USB stick and then run it from there on any computer, whether it uses Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.

Recommended: If you have to work on your client's computer and you don't want to install Fanurio there.

II. Shared folder

This solution is a bit more technical because it requires you to configure Fanurio manually. By default, Fanurio keeps its data somewhere in your user account but it can be configured to keep it somewhere else. Please read this section for more information.

If you can create a folder that is accessible from all computers, you could configure Fanurio to keep its data there instead of the default location. Follow these instructions to learn how to configure Fanurio manually and then add this line to the settings file:


You need to replace PATH_TO_SHARED_FOLDER with the actual path. Assuming you are on Windows and you have a shared folder called Folder on computer Alpha, the path is //Alpha/Folder. If you have a dual-boot system (Linux and Windows), you can access the Windows folders from Linux.

IMPORTANT: If you share the database folder between two computers, make sure you don't use it at the same time on both computers. The database doesn't support concurrent access.

Recommended: If you can share a folder between two computers or two platforms (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux).

III. File synchronization

Another solution is file synchronization software like FolderShare (reviewed here) which can help you synchronize the data folders of each Fanurio install. The location of the data folders is presented in this section.

  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Fanurio/data
  • Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\Application Data\Fanurio\data
  • Vista: C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Fanurio\data
  • Linux: ~/.fanurio/data

IMPORTANT: As is the case with shared folder, you shouldn't work independently on each computer and then expect the data to be merged by the synchronization software. Instead, try to synchronize it after each use.

Recommended: If you want to keep your data synchronized no matter where you are. This is a more general solution than the shared folder approach.

IV. Backup transfer

The last solution and probably the less practical one is to create a backup on one computer and then restore it on the other. The main disadvantage is that you have to do this manually every time you switch computers otherwise they will be out of sync.

You can read this post for more details on how to create and restore a backup.

Recommended: Only if you need to use a second computer from time to time otherwise there's too much overhead to create and restore the backup.

As you can see, none of these methods is perfect but they work in many situations. One feature that we intend to implement is the synchronization of multiple computers from Fanurio thus eliminating the need to rely on outside tools.