Using iFolder as an open source Dropbox alternative

I’ve had a few posting here in my blog over the years about trying to keep data synced over various computers. Nowadays it has gotten easier since it seems everyone is chruning out their own online storage. Classics like Dropbox or SugarSync, and then we have the big companies  Google, Microsoft and Ubuntu trying their luck. Basically they all provide you with 2-5Gb free storage, and more space and features for more money. But they all have one downside, whether encrypted or not, you are leaving your own files to the mercy of an external company. There is not really any voodoo in the whole system, basically you just have some space online, a bit of encryption, and some way to ensure that all clients of a user are synced, nonetheless building your own service can be a hassle as I have found out.

Currently I’m using SVN as a workaround. I just sometimes forget to commit, which leads to me having old data and no access to updated files. Instead of starting from scratch and build strange stuff with rsync I had a look if there were any open source solutions out there. And I was pleased to find a few. Unfortunately they are almost all in the “I have an idea and a few mockups” stage, maybe even some beta version that does something, but nothing really “production” level. Another downside was that most of them either supported Linux or Windows, but often not both.

One open source solution I stumbled across is iFolder,  seasoned software supported by Novell, with clients for Windows, Linux and Mac. And if all else fails you can use the web interface to access your files. Admin and User web interface are both easy to use. I don’t remember how I stumbled across it, but I do know that it’s not one of the main products you see named when searching for alternatives to Dropbox.

If you have SuSE as an OS, then installing the software is immensely simplified due to SuSE belonging to Novell, just follow the SuSE instructions on the website. I prefer debian based installations and found Ubuntu instructions at that were written mainly for Ubuntu, but should work with any debian deviate.

I’m not going to repeat anything from the installation instructions, they already did a fine job of documenting everything. One thing is important however: the Client just plain doesn’t work. unfortunately it is the one linked from the website. Go to the sourceforge repository, and download the newer 3.8.03 client. That one works like a charm.

(E)DNS – Bind logging errors

Anyone that has upgraded Bind recently is probably wondering where all those EDNS error messages are suddenly coming from. Well, since I’d rather fix a problem than set up an ignore rule for tiger, I did some digging and found out this much:
EDNS is an extension to “normal” DNS and has been around for some time. The most often reason these error messages are triggered, is when a firewall decides to drop dns messages that it thinks are too big (> 512 bytes). If this is happening on “your end” than the best solution would be to simply fix the firewall. If this is happening on the other end, or if it is something more obscure like a Firewall blocking fragmented NAT packets, than you might be better off just disabling the logging for this situation. On my system /etc/bin/named.conf.local is included by named.conf (saves me any hassle when updating bind via the distributions packages since all my changes are in a separate file)

logging {
category lame-servers { null; };
category edns-disabled { null; };

This turns off logging for edns-disabled and lame-server messages. So you can concentrate on the more important logging messages 😉