Xfiles 1.4 review

by rbytes.net on

Xfiles is an interactive utility for comparing and merging one file tree with another over a network

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 62K
Developer: J.P.Lewis
0 stars award from rbytes.net

Xfiles is an interactive utility for comparing and merging one file tree with another over a network.

It supports freeform work on several machines (no need to keep track of what files are changed on which machine).

Xfiles can also be used as a cross-validating diskdisk backup strategy (portions of a disk may go bad at any time, with no simple indication of which files were affected.

Cross-validate against a second disk before backup to make sure you aren't backing up bad data).

A client/server program (GUI on the client) traverses a file tree and reports any files that are missing on the server machine, missing on the client machine, or different.

For each such file, the file size/sizes and modification date(s) are shown, and a comparison (using Unix diff) can be obtained. For files that are missing from one tree, `similarly named' files in that tree are reported.

Inconsistent files can then be copied in either direction or deleted on either machine. The file trees do not need to be accessible via nfs.

Files checksums are computed in parallel, so largely similar trees can be compared over a slow network link. The client and server processes can also be run on the same machine.


Xfiles1.4 requires Java jdk1.2 or above. To see if you have java installed, type java -version, which should report something like

> java -version
java version "1.3.0"

There are various free implementations of jdk1.2 and above.

Jdk1.2 and above are not yet available on Macs except on Os/X; these versions are available on Linux but requires glibc 2 or above (comes with the 2.2 and above).

Upgrading to Jdk1.3 or above is preferable, both for speed and for an easier configuration. If you cannot use jdk1.2/1.3/1.4 download Xfiles version 1.3.1 and refer to its xfiles.html document rather than reading further.

Xfiles will not work with java versions from Microsoft, netscape, or gnu (kaffe): it requires RMI and Swing, which are not supported by these older versions of java. Xfiles will probably run under any java derived from Sun's implementation.

Xfiles has run successfully with client and server running on Linux systems running Blackdown/Sun java 1.2 through 1.4 and between Linux and a SGI systems running SGI's jdk1.2.2-1.3. Previous versions of Xfiles have run under jdk1.1 on other platforms.

The diff button calls the Unix diff program. This functionality is not yet available on non-Unix operating systems.

Running on an OS other than Unix/Linux will require creating a standard java wrapper such as a .bat script for Windows.

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