FEEDBACK WANTED: Insync 3 headless

Hi guys!

We’re exploring adding a headless version of Insync 3 but we need more information as to how it will be used. So we want to hear your stories, use-cases and circumstances that require a headless version of Insync 3.

If you can, kindly answer the following:

  1. Why do you need Insync headless?
  2. What is your workaround without Insync headless?
  3. What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?
  4. Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?
  5. What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?

Please be as detailed as possible. If you prefer to answer privately, email me at greg.reyes@insynchq.com with the subject: “Insync 3 headless”

Thank you!

2 Likes
  • Why do you need Insync headless?
    I sync between a mac and my main linux workstation. Most of the time I do not
    use a gui in favor of a regular ssh session. So If i sync up using the mac, it is a PITA that it doesn’t show up on my linux workstation.

  • What is your workaround without Insync headless?
    VNC into my linux workstation

  • What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?
    same features as I am not familiar with 1.5 headless

  • Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?
    Perhaps a daemon that starts when system is started and a command line interface to it. The GUI could also connect to this daemon.

  • What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work
    I am currently using Opensuse 15.1 due to my work. I would like to see in linux, the usual suspects, Fedora, Centos,Ubuntu/Debian/Mint

3 Likes

Thanks so much for the feedback @David_Ruedeman! We’ve shared this with our team. :slight_smile:

Hi David,

What sort of environment or workflow are you aspiring to create with Insync headless? Can you walk me through the details of your use case/work flow?

HI Josh–

First of all I love your product. I am on a insync mailing list in which most of the people complain about the product not working. That has not been my experience.

FWIW until recently I was using insync-1.4.9.37127-fc23.x86_64.rpm on my Opensuse Leap 15.1 system. I am currently using insync-3.0.23.40579-fc27.x86_64.rpm and both works for me.

In my job(s) as an IT instructor and IT consultant I keep my most important files in google drive. I use a Mac, Linux system and iPad to access these files. I use insync on both the Mac and Linux system. ON the ipad I use google Drive app. I find that these days I am running my Mac as my primary workstation and ssh into my Linux system(s) as required. So this is why I don’t normally run a Linux desktop these days and why a headless solution would be nice.

One use case is to edit a file on my Mac and run /debug it on my linux box. My consulting is primary Linux. So I have no interest in running my python or perl scripts on the Mac. So it is convenient to have insync working in the background.

Another use case is that on the Linux system I have some tools that I don’t have on the Mac. One example is pdfgrep. Since I work with a bunch of pdf files pdfgrep is useful and doesn’t exist on my Mac.So having the files in both places is useful.

And my final (or penultimate) use case is that these files are backed up from my Linux box to the cloud. I am currently using Crashplan pro. Crashplan pro charges per box , so it is more economical to have these files mirrored on my Linux box rather than purchasing a separate Crashplan pro Mac license.

And yes I can work-around these use cases. I primarily do that using a gui on the Linux box but we are talking convenience here.

Hope this helps. If you have further questions LMK -d

Hi David,

Thanks for the kind words. Cool use case by the way! I’ve talked to some of our users about headless lately and they’ve mentioned a similar use case: using headless or Insync remotely to sync/backup their files, generally speaking (wondering exactly how many users have this use case as well though).

Are there any hiccups or frustrations in your current workflow? Anything you find inconvenient?

What would your workflow be without Insync headless? What workaround would you have to do?

1 Like
  1. Why do you need Insync headless?
    Maybe to run a linux server to keep a copy of my Drive files on a Raspberry Pi
  2. What is your workaround without Insync headless? I use Syncthing, is headless but also have a web GUI very well developed.
  3. What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless? RELIABILITY
  4. Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI? Separate
  5. What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work? arm Linux in deb packages but also with an apt server
2 Likes

Thanks a lot for this initiative!

2 Likes

Hi Josh–
As I mentioned previously that I would have to fire up a desktop session , either through the console or through vnc for insync to work. Otherwise, my files will not be backed up to the cloud. And yes that is annoying.
I thought of another use case , sort of similar to my own. As you may know , *nix doesn’t need a desktop. This is typical in the server space. So many people use a Linux system as an appliance. For example, insync could sync to this appliance and in-turn the appliance could sync to the cloud for backup and/or act as a local file server. All without a Desktop Environment. That would be pretty cool.

  • Why do you need Insync headless?
    I run a Linux server (no GUI) at home that acts as my file server where I use insync-headless 1.4.9 to keep a local copy of my Google Drive. That is then shared on the network to any of my devices/PCs that need it, instead of keeping multiple copies of my 2TB Google Drive on multiple devices.
  • What is your workaround without Insync headless?
    When I first set this up insync-headless was the best solution I could find, so I don’t know.
  • What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?
    insync-headless 1.4.9 has been pretty solid. There was an issue that broke it when I upgraded to 1.5 though. Just general reliability. Perhaps some native email alerting, though that’s easy to handle outside of the program.
  • Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?
    I would want no dependencies on GUI elements/functionality, so I’m inclined to say separate.
  • What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?
    CentOS/RHEL
1 Like

Hi Gregory,

  • Why do you need Insync headless?
    Strictly speaking I don’t need it - I have a working solution, but my usage case is to backup files from my NAS to Google Drive

  • What is your workaround without Insync headless?
    Currently I’m using rclone. I was using the older insync-portable; but after a RAID failure insync decided it wanted to resync 500gb+ of data, so I used rclone instead to avoid unnecessary syncing

  • What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?
    As above - better logic on when to resync…

  • Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?
    Don’t care.

  • What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?
    Suitable for Debian Buster on the Pi 4 for me

1 Like

Thanks so much for the feedback everyone! Keep 'em coming :slight_smile:

*** Why do you need Insync headless?**
I have two use cases for the insync headless:

  • Using it on headless NAS server to sync with Gdrive. Ideal for backup and saving space by not copying the same files on multiple machines.
  • Using insync in general. No offense but I think the insync GUI is not useful at least to me. It scales poorly with display resolution and I want to make my file management with my file manager. That’s why I use insync in first place - to browse “cloud” files locally. The only time i need a GUI is mark the files/folder which I don’t want synched in particular machine.
  • External configuration file so instances can be migrated easily

*** What is your workaround without Insync headless?**

  • I am using rclone but insync is more “set it and forget it” than rclone which requires manual sync scheduling.

*** What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?**

  • Keep the command line “GUI” from the previous version
  • Improved logging - this is general suggestion not only for the CLI. Keeping the logs in proprietary format is inconvenient.
  • Clear error reporting - write a syslog message when sync fails, send a mail, whatever.
  • Improve progress reporting. When syncing a drive fresh you have no idea what is going on, especially if the drive is big.

*** Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?**

  • Separate. In the case of headless server it shouldn’t drag unnecessary X11 and so on dependencies.

*** What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?**

  • Arch, Ubuntu. I understand if you don’t provide native Arch support and don’t worry sooner that you think it will be in AUR :slightly_smiling_face:
2 Likes
  1. Why do you need Insync headless?
    So that I can have a local copy of my Google drive files on a headless Linux file server. Largely to make sure that I have redundant backups in different places of different types.
    I also use the Linux server for a variety of things like configuring cloud VMs, scripting, etc. from the command line, and want my files on the server backed up (to Google drive).

  2. What is your workaround without Insync headless?
    I have none (I use v1.5.7)

  3. What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?
    I just need it to keep an accurate sync of my files

  4. Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?
    I have no GUI

  5. What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?
    Ubuntu

1 Like

Why do you need Insync headless?

  • Used on a openmediavault server; which does not have a GUI.

What is your workaround without Insync headless?

  • No workaround, using v1.5.7

What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?

  • Reliable, Reliable, Reliable, Reliable syncing, with no loss of data.
  • Advanced logging for bot normal operation and error conditions.
  • Easily accessible configuration file.

Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?

  • Separate to avoid the need for unnecessary library includes/dependencies. Also need to be able to install via CLI.

What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?

  • Linux - Debian, Ubuntu, Arch & RedHat derivatives (CentOS, Fedora).
1 Like

I use this custom made docker image to run insync on a server in order to backup Google Drive folder: https://github.com/hadim/docker-insync

1 Like
  • Why do you need Insync headless?
    I sync between my main desktop and laptop when traveling, and when doing so I ssh into my main desktop, and move the files I need to my insync directory. Previously this wasn’t an issue because I could just use the command line interface to start insync on my main desktop remotely via SSH. Now I can’t do that and it’s a PITA to have to start up a VNC session just to start insync. Also, as you may or may not remember, there was an issue with insync not starting with Fedora 30. The workaround was to add a statement at system startup to start insync headless and use the command line interface. If you don’t have a headless mode, you lose a potential circumvention for GUI issues. And, this issue wasn’t fixed quickly - which highlights the need for a command line interface if for nothing else, circumvention purposes.
  • What is your workaround without Insync headless?
    The workaround is to use VNC for file transfer. However, there is no solution if for whatever reason the GUI stops working.
  • What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?
    I can’t think of any, the commands were fairly comprehensive. You should at least keep functionality parity with 1.5 - why would you have a later release with less functionality?
  • Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?
    It should be the same product and incorporated into the GUI as it was previously. Again, I don’t understand the strategy of coming out with a later release of something with less functionality. Insync should always have a command line interface.
  • What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work
    Linux, specifically the current releases of Fedora.
2 Likes

Woot! I’m glad to hear you guys are looking into this! I’ve been using the headless version for quite some time and have come to rely on it!

Why do you need Insync headless?

I use it on a system that doesn’t have a GUI on it so a shell via ssh is my only interface. It’s actually a virtualized server. I have several pieces of automation via bash scripts where I rely on get_status, get_sync_progress, pause_syncing, resume_syncing and so forth. I also use the manage_selective_sync interactively, so the curses-like UI for that is very helpful.

What is your workaround without Insync headless?

Right now, I’m exploring that. I’ve been using v1.4.9 but have had issues with it lately and haven’t been able to solve them.

What features/behavior would make Insync 3 headless better than Insync 1.5 headless?

The same features I mentioned above would be great. If there was better memory management, even better.

Would you prefer to have Insync 3 headless as a separate product or integrated into the GUI?

Doing it separately would probably be better in my scenario so installing the package wouldn’t try and pull in all the GUI dependencies.

What platform(s) do you need Insync headless to work?

Debian would be my first choice as that’s what I use now. If I had to, I could do Ubuntu.

Thanks guys for taking those of us who use(d) the headless version into consideration!

2 Likes