Wondering about new behavior with insync-headless get_recent_changes


Recently updated my CentOS server from 7.4 to 7.6. On 7.6, insync-headless appears to be much, much faster; however I’m confused about behavior that looks like it has changed.

I have a handful of folders that are selectively synced, like so:

  • Folder A [partial sync]
    • File B [synced]
    • File C [synced]
    • File D [synced]
    • Folder E [not synced]

I regularly create files in Folder A, and then want to remove the local copy that’s taking up disk space, so I hop into Google Drive via web browser and move the files into Folder E.

Back on CentOS 7.4, I would watch to make sure that files moved where they were supposed to go with:
$ watch insync-headless get_recent_changes

So if, for instance, I were to drag File B into Folder E, I would see:
You moved File B to Folder E

Sometimes I would move hundreds or thousands of files, and I would be able to run:
$ watch insync-headless get_recent_changes
and I’d watch everything properly move into Folder E.

Now, after having updated to CentOS 7.6, running
$ watch insync-headless get_recent_changes
doesn’t show any of that activity, after I move the synced files into the unsynced folder. Is this expected behavior, or is it a bug?

By all accounts, it looks like everything is indeed working properly and much more quickly as well, nearly instantly; but I appreciated the written confirmation that insync-headless was doing what I wanted it to do. Now, I just have to go find particular folders and
$ ls
to make sure that the files I don’t want to be local anymore are indeed gone. If it’s a bunch of files, I can try to
$ watch df
and see that the available disk space is increasing, but that doesn’t feel as comprehensive.


I should add that when the files are moved into the unsynced folder, insync-headless doesn’t change the status to “syncing.”

So I have open three Terminal sessions:

  • $ watch -n 0.1 insync-headless get_status
  • $ watch -n 0.1 df
  • $ watch -n 0.1 ls [while inside the folder in question]

When I grab the synced files from the web browser and move them into the unsynced folder, I see the files disappear from the local disk, and I see the disk space free up, but the status only ever stays SYNCED.

This seems weird. It seems like both the commands
$ watch insync-headless get_status
$ watch insync-headless get_recent_changes
should reflect those changes that I’m making.


Hi there Insync gurus.

I would really appreciate an answer as to what I should be expecting from running:
$ insync-headless get_recent_changes

Please advise.


Hi @sethgoldin!

My apologies for not responding sooner and thank you for being so patient with us!

We didn’t make any recent changes in get_recent_changes. May I know what version you upgraded from and could you email me your ~/.config/Insync/out.txt file? You can just respond to our existing email thread. :slight_smile:

Our Linux engineer also suggests to save the files to Folder E instead. That should auto-sync it to Google Drive. Once that’s done, you can unsync Folder E. Let me know how it goes.

Thank you!


To sync all files to Folder E is a good suggestion. The problem is just that I’m generating all these files and that I then run out of disk space, so I need a way to remove lots of files on the disk while keeping them on Google Drive. Any suggestions?


Let’s try this a different way, and I’ll be more specific for my use case.

So, I’m trying to solve a workflow problem, and I’m trying to automate something so that I can have files move into an “archive” folder that syncs with Google Drive but doesn’t take up any local space on the disk.

I have some bash scripts that generate “backup” files for particular projects. This is on a CentOS 7 computer, and the files themselves are uploaded to Google Drive via Insync.

The project folders look something like this:

  • Project A [directory] - synced
    • Backup file A1 - synced
    • Backup file A2 - synced
    • Backup file A3 - synced
    • Project A archive [directory] - not synced
  • Project B [directory] - synced
    • Backup file B1 - synced
    • Backup file B2 - synced
    • Backup file B3 - synced
    • Project B archive [directory] - not synced

With Insync on the CentOS 7 machine, I have selective syncing enabled, so that each folder and it’s individual files are syncing and uploading to Google Drive, but the “archive” subdirectory does not sync. This is intentional. The reason it’s all set up this way is so that, server-side, I can move the backup files into the “archive” directory, and then the local copy is removed from the CentOS 7 machine. The backup files take up disk space, and I need a way of clearing them off of the local disk but still need them available as backup on Google Drive.

The issue is that because those “archive” folders aren’t “synced,” Insync doesn’t even show them as existing. So, I can’t even run a bash script that would periodically move those files to the archive folder, because a bash script wouldn’t be able to reference a non-existent directory.

Is there some way for Insync show those “archive” folders as existing without taking up disk space? It seems I need a way of selectively syncing the contents of a directory.