It’s been a couple of years since I first tried DropBox, and now I have to admit that I became kind of dependent on it. Once you get used to it, it just feels plain natural to have an automatically backed up and always up to date folder at your disposal.
The problem with DropBox is that pretty soon the initial 2 GB you get for free will fall short. You’ll get extra 500 MB for each friend you convince to install DropBox, but even with that, and after spreading the word about it for the last years, I currently only have 4.25 GB (all right maybe I’m not so popular as I though). The alternative was to pay 10 U$S a month for 100 GB. (See pricing here).
Being an Ubuntu user, next thing I tried was UbuntuOne, which comes included with Ubuntu, and also has clients for Mac and Windows. Ubuntu One comes with 5 GB storage out of the box, and also gives you 500 extra MB for each referral. I was about to buy a couple of GB (Canonical charges you U$S 3 for every 20 GB you want to add) when I discovered Copy.
GigaBytes of friends
Copy is a new multiplatform cloud storage alternative. It’s got all the bells and whistles you might expect, including an Android and iOS client. I haven’t find anything really remarkable about it so far, except for the extremely atractive promotional offer they chose to spread the word about it, which is:
When you sign up you get 15 GB + 5 extra GB when you install the desktop app.
For a tweet you’ll get 2 GB extra storage space
If you used a referral link you’ll get an extra 5GB (and the friend that sent the referral will also get it’s 5 GB extra).
So, if you use this link and tweet about it, you’ll start with 27 GB. (If you install directly from copy site, you will be missing 5 GB!)
And for a limited time, you will get an extra 5GB for each referral.
That means that if you hurry up, you can quickly come out with a fair amount of storage space for free.
A nice detail, your email address won’t be published, not even to your referrals.
To install the Copy client, you’ll have to download the installer from https://copy.com/install/linux/Copy.tgz uncompress it with:
tar -xvf copy_agent-1.28.0657.tgz
To install the nautilus overlay indicators (so that you can notice on first sight if the files are updated on your Copy remote box) just go the the folder where you uncompressed the tar file and then run
sudo ./CopyAgent -installOverlay
And then just run
to start the installation
After that you’ll be asked for your Copy user and password, and you’ll get to choose the Copy folder and the folders you want to synchronize. You can later change these options, and even undelete files clicking on the Copy icon on the top bar and selecting the Preferences… option.
Trouble shooting copy
Being a new application, you might find some rough edges. I found the support staff to be quite responsive and helpful about every issue I reported.
One problem I had is that the client was reporting an “Out of space error”. The support staff gave me the solution:
I just had to issue:
sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf
And add the following line to the end of the file
################################################################### # IntelliJ configuration # # http://confluence.jetbrains.net/display/IDEADEV/Inotify+Watches+Limit # fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 524288 fs.file-max = 800000
(Of course, you can ommit the comments)
Here’s another related issue.
I have several boot partitions in my workstation (to play with different linux distros) and they all use the same data partition. So I install the client and change the location of the Copy folder to /media/data. The installer will then create a /meda/data/Copy folder and start syncronizing it.
It wasn’t quite easy to point several clients to the same Copy folder. The client would start to download the whole folder, and the syncing process was taking a lot of time. In the end, this is the workflow that worked for me. I installed the copy client from the first partition to the folder /media/data/Copy. Then I booted the other partition and installed it to /media/data/tmp/Copy. After that I changed the Copy folder to /media/data/Copy, and then I had to pause and resume the syncing process a couple of times. As I said, the process was not so clean as expected, but now everything seems to work fine.
A nice alternative with room for improvement
So far now I’m quite satisfied with Copy. Nevertheless I see a couple of areas where they can make things better. It would be nice to have a .deb and .rpm installer, as well as a ppa repository (including it in Ubuntu’s software center would be great), to make it easier installing and updating the client.
On the other hand, sometimes when synchronizing contents, the cpu usage climbs up to the 50% (all my four cores!) for a couple of minutes, and then it relaxes.
I hope that with the effort they are putting supporting this tool, these issues will be solved in the near future.
In the meantime, you can start testing it right away using this link and spreading the word about it to gain more storage space.
ps2: I’ve already reached a fair amount of GB, so after giving a couple of GB to my girlfriend, the links on this article now points to a friend of mine’s referral. So go ahead and give him a couple GBs.