Syncing or Sharing Package files

Ive tried to find an answer to this but can’t seem to find one that answers it definitively. I’ve seen that I shouldn’t be using Dropbox and other sync services for sharing package files across various machines - think Photos library and similar.

However, can this files be accessed over a network file or is this a risk as well?

The file in question I’d like to edit is a Rubitrack file, and on its website it states not to sync using Dropbox. I’ve also seen the Apple article saying that Photo libraries shouldn’t be on a network share.

Is this a limitation of the file type? From what I gather, some of the package files seem to use symbolic links, and my understanding is that this could be an issue, certainly for the syncing programs, but is this the same issue for the network shares (currently an ext4 formatted Synology)?

Short of following Rubitrack’s recommendations of zipping each and every time I edit, are there any alternative solutions?

You could try a git based solution?

I’ve frequently had problems storing backup copies of Mac apps on file servers so I can understand the warning about package files. OTOH, I don’t recall ever having problems with .dmg or .sparsebundle files on remote storage.

You could try storing a copy of your rubitrack file inside a .dmg file (or .sparsebundle for much larger files). This would allow you to open the .dmg, use your file like normal, then simply close it.

As always, I’d make a copy of my file before testing this. And make the disk image large enough for your file to grow.

I looked at your link about “shouldn’t be on a network share”… It says:

To prevent data loss, Apple doesn’t recommend storing photo libraries on external storage devices like SD cards and USB flash drives, or drives that are shared on a network.

It doesn’t say “network shares”. I think what they mean is don’t put files on remotely shared drives that are not “permanently attached” to the network device. Someone could come along and unplug it and that does run risk of data loss.

Like WayneG says, test, test, test.

I share my photos with family via Apple’s Photos app and iCloud.

I think that was going to be my plan going forwards perhaps, short of creating a script that would zip the file up and put that in Dropbox and then have Hazel unpack it if it’s in my processing folder. The DMG/sparse bundle option was something that I was considering anyhow for Time Machine backups to SMB share for when my MaBook arrives, so having the same file available for various files could be of assistance.

EDIT: A quick look at Sparsebundle files suggest that these can be synced via rsync to keep images in sync - this should mean I could use a file sync solution to do that for me. That certainly looks like like a solution I’ll have a play with shortly.

I took the “drives shared on a network” to be network shares.

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Yes. I use Chronosync to sync encrypted .sparsebundle files to Backblaze B2.

I keep my rubitrack file in iCloud Drive with no problems whatsoever :eyes:

That’s good to know and would solve my issues if that’s the case! Looks like I’ll have to give it a go.

Maybe because it’s Mac aimed, it can deal with package files better?

It may be.

Bear in mind that I’m a lightweight user (3/4 runs a week) and I mainly use it on one Mac, and when it’s open on one is closed on the other, so make regular backups when trying :upside_down_face:

Ah OK. The intention is to sync between my Mac Mini and my forthcoming MacBook Air. I reckon I’m about to spend more time out of the office shortly and wanting to access on the laptop instead, but want the data synced up. It would certainly be closed on one when the other is open.

I’ve been using it a few years and have a sizeable database - I think the file is about 500MB now. However, I’ll try it - I’ve also got the original GPX/FIT files from the activities as well, so in the worse case, if it goes wrong, I’ll have to do a fresh start and just re-import all the activities.