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Keep SecureCRT Synchronized Between Computers with Dropbox

Today we have a great tip for easily keeping your SecureCRT sessions synchronized across multiple computers.

Anyone who has ever used SecureCRT as their ssh client knows how easy, powerful and convenient it is to use.  However one of the biggest problems with SecureCRT is keeping your saved sessions in sync across multiple desktops, laptops, etc.  If you change jobs, switch between a laptop and desktop, or between a work computer and a home computer you have to copy the config folder or manually recreate every saved session on each computer. It can be a big hassle. 

Well today we have a great solution for instantly syncing all of your session information across as many computers as you need and even will sync with any new computers you buy in the future.

The trick to solving this issue is to store your VanDyke config folder in a
Dropbox folder!

What is Dropbox?  Dropbox is a free cloud storage system that allow you to privately store and access any files you want, up to 2 Gig.

So here’s how it works.

If you don’t have a Dropbox, you can get a free account here.  The default storage size is 2gigs worth of data so you have plenty of room for your SecureCRT configs plus other stuff too!

Once you get Dropbox installed on your computer, simply copy your Vandyke\config folder to Dropbox. Depending on which operating system you have will depend on where SecureCRT installs this folder.  On my Windows 7 machine it is installed on  C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\VanDyke

What I do is first create a new folder on my Dropbox called Application Sync.  This folder will be used to store my entire VanDyke AppData folder.

Next copy your C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\VanDyke folder to your new folder in your Dropbox – C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\VanDyke

Finally, open up your SecureCRT and change the location of your config folder. This setting is located in SecureCRT, click Options -> Global Options… -> On the “General” Category.

For me I changed this to be C:\Users\wilsonj\Documents\My Dropbox\Application Sync\VanDyke\Config

Once you make this change you will have to restart SecureCRT for the change to take effect.  Now any other installations of SecurCRT that you may have, change the location of your config file to point to your Dropbox folder and everything will always be in sync!!

This entire process may even work for other clients like Putty but I have not tried it.   Do you have any tips for synchronizing SecureCRT or possibly even Putty?   Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Keep SecureCRT Synchronized Between Computers with Dropbox
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About Joe

Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of RouterFreak.com as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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7 comments

  1. Hello!!

    The problem with putty is that it use a registry entry to keep the configuration. One way could be export this registry key to a .reg file and use it in all machines….

    Regards,

    JJ

  2. Dropbox really rocks. I use it for all sorts of things. Lifehacker.com frequently has new and interesting uses for it (e.g. dropping a file into Dropbox on a smartphone and having it automagically print on a home printer).

    A few extra things to note, including tips for added security:

    1) Dropbox has a very nice referral program. If you go through another member you'll both get an additional 250MB of space! So, if you use this link – http://db.tt/dUpnTr7 – then you will get 2.25GB of space rather than the normal 2GB of space. You'll also be helping me out as well since I'll get 250MB of extra space (so THANKS in advance if you do!). Then if you get people to sign up you'll get 250MB extra for each one (up to a maximum of 8GB of extra space through referrals).

    2) Once you've signed up, go to the "Get Started" tab. If you go through those steps then you'll get an additional 250MB of free space.

    3) Dropbox claims that they use encryption to safeguard your data. If you're paranoid enough (and I am about some of my data on Dropbox) you can store your data in a Truecrypt volume. Any time you make changes to the Truecrypt volume only the deltas are sent to Dropbox, so it's not as through the entire Truecrypt volume has to be resynced.

    4) Encrypted password files such as KeePass should be safe as well.

    5) If you have a file open in your Dropbox folder it won't be synced until you close it. So if you update a file (e.g. a Truecrypt volume) the changes won't be available on other PCs until you close the file.

    6) If you have a small business client that you need to regularly share large files with that you don't want to explain FTP to, you can install Dropbox on their PC with their own account, then share a particular folder in your Dropbox with their account. Then drop files in there and they'll quickly have it in their folder.

    6) If you have parents that you don't want to teach how to upload/download files, you can start a Dropbox account for them, then share a folder like above, and then drop pictures of their grandkids in there and they'll have in their Dropbox folder next time they look.

    Once you start using it you'll find all sorts of handy uses for it.

  3. I'm not sure I'd want to store my public and private keys in a dropbox folder. Kinda Scary!

    • MP,
      Thats a really good point. We were talking about that yesterday. In that case what you can do is keep your Config/KnownHosts folder local to each machine.

      So in your AppData/VanDyke/Config folder is another folder called KnownHosts. This folder contains all of the keys for the hosts that you connect to. When you copy the AppData/VanDyke/Config to Dropbox, do NOT copy over the KnownHosts folder. This will ensure that your public and private keys are kept on your laptop or desktop and safe.

      Thanks for the great comment!

      • The same thought went through my head the moment it occurred to me to use Dropbox for syncing all of my SecureCRT stuff. I don’t want all of my keys sitting out there in the cloud. Of course, you could keep your keys local on each machine and then tell SecureCRT to look there, but, chances are, you use different paths to those files on the various machines (for example, at work, my path will start with “C:\Users\username.DOMAIN\etc..”, while my home machine won’t as I’m not on a domain, there). Also, there are many other paths in your SecureCRT config which you probably don’t want identical (like the folder downloads go to).

        What you *really* want is to be able to only sync the *Sessions* folder underneath. Oddly, I tried to use Cubby to sync that folder, and it refused. Hopefully, AeroFS will do it when that gets released.

        • Hi Joe,
          Actually, KnownHosts and the config itself can be stored separately.
          In the Global Options on the “General” menu item, you can choose where to store the config iself. There you can specify your dropbox folder, where you’ve copied the config. You can delete the KnownHosts folder from the config folder, before sending it to your dropbox.
          On the “SSH Host Keys” menu item, you can specify where to store the KnowHosts folder, containing the keys. You can choose completely separate folder, which wouldn’t be synced with the dropbox cloud.
          That’s exactly how I’ve done that. Works like a charm.

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