A simple tool to monitor for local file modifications and sync changes to a remote machine. Use your favourite editor locally, and run on a remote machine
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Simple Sync

A simple tool to monitor for local file modifications and sync changes to a remote machine. Use your favourite editor locally, and run on a remote machine.


If you need to edit files on a remote machine there are several choices:

  • SSH and edit using vi
  • Use an SFTP program and edit individual files
  • Mount the remote machine using Fuse
  • Use Unison

They're all suitable for different purposes. Some are slow, some don't allow you to use a local editor, and some are difficult to setup.

Simple Sync runs on your local machine and:

  • Lets you edit local files at full speed using a local editor (such as VSCode) and get all the goodness out of its features
  • Will monitor files for changes and sync them to a remote machine

That's it! It's faster than using Fuse, and doesn't have all the complexity of trying to get Unison to work.


Simple Sync monitors a directory for file changes and then issues a series of scp commands (to upload changes) or rsync commands (to delete files).

It will monitor:

  • New files
  • Updated files
  • Deleted files
  • New directories
  • Deleted directories
  • Renamed files and directories


Clone the repo to a location where you keep code. Then install:

npm install

And finally:

npm link

You can now access the program anywhere via simplesync.

To use

Simple Sync needs a local and a remote path, and will sync from the local to the remote. You can pass this on the command line:

simplesync --local /users/john/mysite --remote john@remotemachine.com:/home/user/mysite

  • The local value should be a directory on your local machine.
  • The remote should be an rsync-style SSH+path. You can use any valid Rsync format you want, including machine:/path if you have your SSH config setup

Optional arguments:

  • --test - Switch on test mode and show what commands will be run, but doesn't run them. Useful to check you have everything configured right
  • --verbose - Outputs all files that are changed and the commands that are run. Auto-enabled in --test mode
  • --scp - Additional arguments to pass to scp (such as SSH identity file)
  • --rsync - Additional arguments to pass to rsync (such as SSH identity file)

Configuration File

You can store arguments in a configuration file called .simplesyncrc. This can exist in the current directory, or any parent directory up to ~/.simplesyncrc.

It is a JSON file as follows:

	"local": "/Users/john/simplesync/",
	"remote": "machine:/home/user/simplesync/",
	"scp": "",
	"rsync": ""

Full Sync

If you make changes on the remote machine and want to sync them to your local machine you can run:

simplesync down

Similarly you can sync you local directory to the remote machine:

simplesync up

Note that this can delete files and local modifications - be careful and use the --test argument!

Also note that syncs are done relative to the directory you are in. For example, if you have --local set to /home/sync and you are in /home/sync/subdir then it will sync subdir only, and not anything else in /home/sync


Simple Sync only syncs one way from local to remote, and does not check for local modifications. If you edit a remote file, and then edit the same local file, Simple Sync will upload the local file over the remote file without warning.

It is advised you use the --test argument when configuring so you can see what will happen when syncing.

Absolutley no responsability is taken for any damage caused by this program!