Sync Linux laptop with Buffalo LS-250 LinkStation

Q I have just installed a Buffalo LS-250 LinkStation [a networked storage device] on my home network (me running Kubuntu Dapper and three Windows XP machines). I have no problems at all copying files to and from my Dapper laptop and it was very easy to set up. But! What I would like to do is to sync my laptop with the LinkStation, and I'm not sure how to do it. I've successfully set up Unison between my laptop and one of the Windows XP machines, but I don't know if this is possible with the LinkStation. I've looked at rsync, but that too seems to need a software installation on both the laptop and the LinkStation. A straightforward command line copy would do me, so that I could write a script to copy only new files each way, but rsync now seems to be the default for that. Also, on the XP machines I can open and edit files on the LinkStation, but Samba only lets me open a copy on the Dapper laptop. Can this be changed?

A You actually have two Linux computers on your network, because the LinkStations run Linux too. There is an active community at http://linkstationwiki.net with plenty of information on the various LinkStation models, including your LinkStation Pro. Of most interest to you will be the replacement firmware project. FreeLink replaces the standard firmware with a Debian variant. This is more extreme than OpenLink but gives more flexibility, although you currently lose the web interface. OpenLink is based on the stock firmware but adds some software. The most interesting of these are SSH and rsync. However, the LS-LG that you have is a new model, and OpenLink did not support this at the time of writing, although that may have changed by the time you read this. If you don't wish to mess with your firmware, there is a much simpler solution. If you mount the device using Samba you can use rsync without installing anything on the remote machine as you are effectively syncing two local directories.

rsync -avx ~/myfiles/ /mnt/buffalo/myfiles/

You should be able to work with files directly on the device over SMB. As you use KDE, you should try the KIO slave route first, opening a file as smb://name/path/to/file. Try to browse the files in Konqueror and open them in your editor. If this fails, it is probably down to the share permissions and Samba setup. If you run the programs from a shell, you should be able to gain more information from the error message printed there. For example:

kwrite smb://name/path/to/file

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