lewiz,

] This may have come up before but I've not found anything after
] searching Google that quite satisfies the question.
]
] I run my laptop on my network during evenings but during the daytime I
] attend college, where I really need to access my documents, mail, etc.
] Is there any method of synchronizing the laptop with the server (I
] have an NFS exported homedirectory and use NIS/YP for authentication).

Unison might meet some of your needs:

    Unison File Synchronizer
    http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/

I use it to keep files synchronized between my FreeBSD desktop and my
FreeBSD ISP, between my Slackware laptop and my FreeBSD ISP, and between
my Windows 2000 SP2 desktop and my FreeBSD ISP.

Here's a quick description, taken from the project web page:

   Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. (It also
   works on OSX to some extent, but it does not yet deal with 'resource
   forks' correctly; more information on OSX usage can be found on the
   unison-users mailing list archives.) It allows two replicas of a
   collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts
   (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then
   brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the
   other.

   Unison shares a number of features with tools such as configuration
   management packages (CVS, PRCS, etc.), distributed filesystems (Coda,
   etc.), uni-directional mirroring utilities (rsync, etc.), and other
   synchronizers (Intellisync, Reconcile, etc). However, there are
   several points where it differs:

   * Unison runs on both Windows (95, 98, NT, and 2k) and Unix (Solaris,
     Linux, etc.) systems. Moreover, Unison works across platforms,
     allowing you to synchronize a Windows laptop with a Unix server,
     for example.

   * Unlike a distributed filesystem, Unison is a user-level program:
     there is no need to hack (or own!) the kernel, or to have superuser
     privileges on either host.

   * Unlike simple mirroring or backup utilities, Unison can deal with
     updates to both replicas of a distributed directory structure. Up-
     dates that do not conflict are propagated automatically. Conflict-
     ing updates are detected and displayed.

   * Unison works between any pair of machines connected to the inter-
     net, communicating over either a direct socket link or tunneling
     over an rsh or an encrypted ssh connection. It is careful with
     network bandwidth, and runs well over slow links such as PPP
     connections. Transfers of small updates to large files are opti-
     mized using a compression protocol similar to rsync.

   * Unison has a clear and precise specification.

   * Unison is resilient to failure. It is careful to leave the replicas
     and its own private structures in a sensible state at all times,
     even in case of abnormal termination or communication failures.

   * Unison is free; full source code is available under the GNU Public
     License.

Regards,
Eric
--
Eric De Mund <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> | Ixian Systems, Inc. | 53 49 B2 23 AF 6C 20 81
http://www.ixian.com/ead/    | Mountain View, CA   | ED DD 4C 81 AA C9 D1 A5

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