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So I've been wanting to migrate away from Dropbox and onto a self-hosted solution for a while anyway, and I guess this would be a good opportunity to do so.

Unfortunately, there don't appear to be any good open-source solutions at the moment. I'm not looking for a fancy web interface or anything, just a simple sync between devices, with a usable API for building apps.

In particular, rsync etc. doesn't really offer this interface, and I'm really not convinced by the usability of e.g. OwnCloud. Any solutions I might be missing? Or is this something I have to build myself?

As far as I know the current contenders are git-annex[1], syncthing[2] and clearskies[3]. They're all still very green. git-annex is technologically farthest along but is still very unpolished for the basic "sync this dir" functionality to be reliable/friendly. Clearskies is still at proof-of-concept stage, defining the protocol and implementing the first clients. syncthing is probably the best bet right now, but I haven't tested it yet.

[1] http://git-annex.branchable.com/

[2] https://github.com/calmh/syncthing

[3] https://github.com/jewel/clearskies-ruby

I've been using ownCloud for over a year and it works great. The only issue is that it is not as convenient as Dropbox. It needs a server to host it, which is not free; and the server requires maintenance, security patches (see: heartbleed), upgrades, etc.

Simple syncing is what ownCloud does. Of course technically a server is inbetween, so it’s not directly between devices. LAN sync is requested sometimes, but currently not a priority.

Please do let us know about the things you miss – on our issue tracker at http://github.com/owncloud/core/issues And if you use IRC you’re welcome in #owncloud-dev (freenode).

And be sure that we have a lot of improvements lined up for ownCloud 7 which will come out in a few weeks.

EDIT: Also, if you have specific feedback on ownCloud’s usability and design let me know, I work on that.

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