Two Six Code
April 15, 2010

Sync Applications with Dropbox

There are many uses for the very handy (and free) Dropbox. You can share, sync, back-up, and version. But one of the neatest tricks is syncing applications across two or more Macs — no MobileMe required! Some applications, such as TextExpander are now offering built in Dropbox sync. Either way, it is just a few simple steps to stay in sync.

If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, get one here. In order to set up application syncing, the idea is to move the application’s support folder from “Application Support” (located in /Users/username/Library/Application Support) to your Dropbox folder and create a symlink in /Users/Username/Library/Application Support to the app’s support folder in Dropbox. You can do this with Terminal:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/ApplicationName ~/Library/Application\ Support/ 

This will create a symlink to “ApplicationName” (where ApplicationName is the name of your app) in the user’s Application Support folder. Don’t forget to escape any spaces with a leading “\”. You could also accomplish the same thing via a GUI using Make Symlink.

You’ll need to do this on both machines. Once done, allow Dropbox to sync the files and you’re set. Any changes made on one machine will be synced to the other. My favorite uses are password syncing with 1Password, syncing a database of notes and snippets in Yojimbo, and keeping TextMate prefs and bundles in sync.

Here are some useful instructions for syncing those applications using Dropbox:

If you have a different application in mind, a Google search will reveal many other possibilites!


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