Magic Folders Now Allows for File Synchronization in Tahoe-LAFS

Meejah and David Stainton on April 21, 2017

The users of Tahoe-LAFS – a project that aims to provide Free and Open decentralized cloud storage system – now get additional Magic Folders features. In January 2017, the open source project released version 1.12.0, which brings Least Authority’s Magic Folders v1.0 into Tahoe-LAFS.

Members of the Least Authority team, dedicated to creating freedom compatible technologies, have been a part of the Tahoe-LAFS project since the beginning and are very excited to enrich the project with the new and important features of Magic Folders.

What is Magic Folders?

Magic Folders is a file-syncing utility that automatically makes a folder and its contents look the same on two different computers via Tahoe-LAFS.

What are the additional features?

Tahoe-LAFS already had a tahoe backup command. The command efficiently uploads any file, which has been changed since the most recent run of tahoe backup and preserves backup copies of older versions of each file.

Magic Folders’ two excellent add-ons to the project are:

  1. Hooks into the local filesystem so that whenever files or directories are changed in the local magic folder, it automatically triggers an upload of any new changes from that folder.
  2. Monitors such changes being made to the remote magic folder, and downloads each new or changed file into the local folder.

The process of monitoring for changes from the remote simply re-uses Tahoe-LAFS’s existing functionality. To read more about how Magic Folders works, you can review this documentation.

Our supporters.

This minimum viable product of Magic Folders was made possible with the support of the Open Technology Fund in 2015. Since then we have further developed and integrated it in partnership with the Tahoe-LAFS team.

We plan ahead.

We have big plans for the future of Magic Folders and we are continuously working on how to use Magic Folders to bring the power of Tahoe-LAFS to more and more people in a highly connected world.

Further improvements to Magic Folder will be a part of future releases of Tahoe-LAFS, which we hope to ‘release early, release often’. Our planned improvements include a redesign of the data model for collaborations and adding the ability to support multiple Magic Folders that sync to the same storage grid.

Your feedback is important to us.

As we determine what else is going to be on the roadmap for Magic Folders, we would love to hear from you about how you would like to use Magic Folders for Tahoe-LAFS. Any and all feature-requests or use-case ideas are welcome. We also welcome any questions and comments you might have.

We Least Authoritarians firmly believe that freedom matters in storage technology. Furthermore, we do NOT believe in security by policy; security by design is what we do. In keeping with our credence that the authenticity and confidentiality of your data should be independent of your storage provider, we try to create and design software that is inspired by the end-to-end principle and the principle of least authority.

If you are interested in using, contributing, or supporting Magic Folders, contact the S4 secure storage service, which offers Tahoe-LAFS on Amazon S3.