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Why is mobile home syncing so slow?

1908 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2013 1:50 PM by Gerben Wierda RSS
Gerben Wierda Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 17, 2013 1:57 PM

I am running 10.8.3 on the clients and 10.8.3 with Server 2.2.1 on the Server. I have turned server-side file tracking on with


sudo serveradmin settings info:enableFileSyncAgent = yes


But the full story I got that from ( on-server/) does add:


Note that TCP port 2336 needs to be open for the FileSync Agent to connect over ssh on port 2336 to the server; however, ssh doesn’t need to be enabled on the standard port 22 but mobile users must have access to the SSH SACL.


- How do I recognize the SSH SACL in Workgroup manager so I can add the mobile users to it?

- SInce we have a different firewall than the 10.6 setup, how do I add port 2336?

- Is that the reason? Or is there also something on the client side?



  • cpragman Level 2 Level 2 (425 points)
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    Apr 19, 2013 7:20 AM (in response to Gerben Wierda)

    On my 10.6 server, port 2236 was added to the firewall automatically when I turned on server side file tracking.


    I have serveral users using PHD syncing on my 10.6 server.  Generally it works, however there are a couple of users with laptops that have accumulated many years worth of e-mail.  Syncing all that e-mail seems to take a very long time, probably due to the sheer volume involved.


    I'd previously filed a feature request w/ Apple to provide a mechanism to archive old mail, so as to reduce the volume of stuff requiring constant PHD syncing.  Apple responded that they didn't have any intentions of providing this feature.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
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    Apr 22, 2013 2:25 AM (in response to Gerben Wierda)

    Apple's software has always been very poor at handling copying lots of small files. (Anyone else remember the floppy shuffle on the original Mac?) In this case each email is an individual file and is transferred as an individual transaction with its own checks and copies and if needed delete/rename commands. Additionally Mac files often have a lot more 'meta-data' than Windows files, e.g. custom icon, colour label, spotlight data, etc. making the amount to transfer even for a small otherwise plain text file larger.


    What can also make things worse is that periodically I find that Apple Mail will on occasion resync to the mail server effectively redownloading all the emails, and this can then make the corresponding files look different when syncing the home folder to the file server meaning far more files to sync. (Should in theory only apply to mail folders also stored on the mail server, not local mail folders.)


    There is also a feeling that things like packet sizes, packet windows, etc. used by Apple may not be optimised for slower remote links, and remote links also having higher latency. This should not apply on a local LAN setup.


    Other than possibly using a different email client (which might behave better), the only real solution is to get users to keep fewer emails.

  • cpragman Level 2 Level 2 (425 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 24, 2013 6:51 AM (in response to Gerben Wierda)

    If it looks like it is doing the file scanning step for a very long time, it may not actually be using the file tracking feature.  You can try trashing the finesync database, and let it rebuild it.


    I suggest googling this, because it's been a long time since I've done this, But I think it involves trashing the FileSync folders on both the server and the client.  (ex., ~/Library/FileSync)

  • infinite vortex Level 7 Level 7 (21,400 points)
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    May 3, 2013 3:39 AM (in response to Gerben Wierda)

    How can I see in the FileSync logs that it is (or isn't) using server side file tracking?


    If it's using Server Side File Tracking when doing a sync you'll get a sync window that looks like this…


    … while it's doing its checks up until the file copying/sync actually starts. Otherwise when you're not using Server Side File Tracking then you'll see it scan through the home directory before the file copying/syncing actually starts. It's pretty clear on the client side of Server Side File Tracking is working or not.


    When it comes to your "unresolved issue" you don't actually quantify what exactly you consider slow and under what network conditions you're operating under. It's a bit hard to know what's actually going on, if it's happening to everyone and where your problems are without specific information to go from.


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