Will Insync 3.x EVER support Symlinks?

I anxiously downloaded and installed Insync 3 when I got the email notification. I was a bit surprised that 3.x did not support symlinks in the Google Drive folder. Please advise if symlinks are planned for Google Drive in 3.x as they are in 1.x.

Also, please advise if symlinks are planned for or are NOW supported with Onedrive with 3.x.

This is vital for me.

Please advise, is this feature planned or fixed in Insync 3? This may determine if I stick with Insync or not. With the recent change in Google Photos not being synced I am seeing less of a reason to stay with Google drive, I may switch exclusively to Onedrive - and it already supports symlinks in the native Onedrive sync client.

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Bump. I am really needing to know this. If Insync 3 is never going to support Symlinks then I amy be parting ways with it - at least until I am forced away from Insync 1.X.

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At least for insync 3.0.x in windows, outside of the base directories, there is an insync context menu item to sync files/folders. This includes items in mapped network drives and usb devices. I have no idea how it functions or if it does it well as I have not tested it. But this could be an alternative, ie syncing the symlinked folders directly rather than via the symlink.

Similar thread with possible solution

I’m definitely with you on the google photos issue. And to only provide one way sync in the native google app and not provide an API on top of it is asinine.

It is planned for Insync 3 I apologize for this. We will make sure to update you guys with the build that already supports this.

Jaduenas, thanks for the info. Hopefully Insync 3 will be stable and have the missing features soon.

Kyle: Yes this is possible. It’s just a bunch easier to use a symlink. And I’ve been doing it for years. Thanks for the tip. I’m sticking with Insync 1.X for now until 3.x is more stable.

Any progress on this? It’s almost a year later. I accidentally upgraded to 3.0 without knowing that symlinks no longer work.

Hi! Symlinks can be synced via Local Selective Sync (on the upper right of your app UI). Let me know if this works on your setup :slight_smile:

I have to admit I have not tried version 3 since it’s first release.

The reason I use symlinks is to NOT have to manually configure the sync setup, I drop a symlink in the sync folder and it’s done. If I have to manually configure the sync app every time something changes it’s just something else I have to remember to do.

We need true symlink support.

3 Likes

Bump.
Just to let you know, there are more than a few people who desire this feature. While we know that we can sync other locations we really want REAL symlink support.

While it’s easy enough to tell lnsync to copy an additional folder from outside the normal Google sync folder, does it allow me to setup this ‘other folder’ to sync to a SPECIFIC folder in the Google Sync folder? I have maybe 8 symlinks setup on several devices, each pointing from the data’s real location from a symlink in a specific subfolder in the Google sync folder. If Insync 3 offers no way of steering the real data folder to a specific subfolder in the Google sync folder it is going to require a lot of work to get it to work right for me.

I am just curious, is this such a hard feature to make work? It works perfectly in Insync 1.X.


I actually deleted the symlinks inside each folder account and later, do the same steps I described above.

I selected Sync directly under My Drive, then I don’t need to create a Symlink inside the original Insync directory. I think it is still better except when I decided to unsync the folder because it or its content will be DELETED from my laptop, here is where Insync people still has ignored my feature: Don't delete files on stop sync

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Here’s a proposal I sent in through the support channel as a way for our Insync developer friends to add symlink functionality to 3.x. I’ve also posted it here for your reading pleasure, and to solicit “likes” to help indicate demand.

If you need/want this feature, please click the little heart to like this post!!!

Neither Google Drive nor Microsoft OneDrive seem to support true symlinks, so this proposal allows local (Linux side) use of symlinks, with Insync storing their metadata as a normal file in Google Drive or OneDrive.

For the rest of this post, I’ll use “$cloudDrive” to indicate either Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

Here’s how it works:
On the local Linux file system you have a symlink, such as /home/user/images which points to a target of /var/lib/images. For this proposed solution, it doesn’t matter if the target is a file or a directory.

Note that we only expect Insync to sync the symlink itself as a special file, and we do not expect (or want) Insync to sync the target of the symlink.

When Insync encounters a symlink on the local system, it syncs to $cloudDrive a file with the same name as the symlink, but with metadata that describes the symlink. By using the same name for the symlink metafile in $cloudDrive as the symlink on the local system, we implicitly avoid naming conflicts.

So what gets put into the symlink metafile on $cloudDrive? Here’s an example:

# This is a symlink metafile created by Insync to track this symlink on your local filesystem
"symlink":
  {
      "link": "/home/user/images",
      "target": "/var/lib/images"
  }

When Insync is syncing from the cloud to the local file system, it simply re-creates the local symlink based on the metadata.

Pros

  • Works with Google Drive, OneDrive, and any other $cloudDrive that supports text files
  • Very simple conceptual model
  • Is self-documenting
  • In the case of a restore from $cloudDrive where Insync is not available, these symlink metafiles can be fed into a pretty simple shell script to re-create the local links.
  • Naming the special file type in the metadata “symlink” makes it extensible, allowing for potential support of other special file types in the future.

Cons

  • It hasn’t been coded yet
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Hi, I wanted to check if there is update on this? I have just upgraded to version 3.x without realizing that symlinks are not supported. Manually syncing each folder would be tedious and error prone.

Two and a half year later and still nothing…

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hello all…

we are finally getting back to symlink support and the initial implementation will have 2 options as a global setting:

  • ignore symlinks
  • follow symlinks

questions: let’s say you initially followed the symlinks (i.e. it would sync the target) and say a week later you changed the setting to ignore…

  1. what happens to the previously synced targets? will they unsync? delete?
  2. will the changes be retroactive or just moving forward?

thanks in advance.

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I’d vote for:

  • what happens to the previously synced targets? will they unsync? delete?
    -> stay as is

  • will the changes be retroactive or just moving forward?
    -> just moving forward

Functionality to: make retroactive changes/unsync previously synced targets, could be provided later as separate tools or scripts.

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Hey there! Any update on the symlink support?

Hello! Still in the works :slight_smile: We’ll update when we approach its release.