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PurpleTentacle

Does anyone have a method for keeping their save states updated across multiple computers?

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Obviously, this isn't something you could do in LaunchBox, but I think it would be interesting to have a solution to this issue. It's one of the mild annoyances of having copies of LaunchBox on multiple computers, so it made me wonder if anyone has a solution to it.

 

The way I do it now (and I haven't bothered to do it often), is to have the LaunchBox folder shared on my local network across all my computers, and then I can snag the RetroArch save states/saved games across the network. It's only a mild inconvenience, but I'd be curious to see if anyone has a way to automate this process. 

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18 minutes ago, PurpleTentacle said:

Obviously, this isn't something you could do in LaunchBox, but I think it would be interesting to have a solution to this issue. It's one of the mild annoyances of having copies of LaunchBox on multiple computers, so it made me wonder if anyone has a solution to it.

 

The way I do it now (and I haven't bothered to do it often), is to have the LaunchBox folder shared on my local network across all my computers, and then I can snag the RetroArch save states/saved games across the network. It's only a mild inconvenience, but I'd be curious to see if anyone has a way to automate this process. 

I set my emus that allow you to set the save location to save to my one drive. You get 5GB free and i dont use it for anything else.

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1 hour ago, neil9000 said:

I set my emus that allow you to set the save location to save to my one drive. You get 5GB free and i dont use it for anything else.

Oh, nice! I've never used cloud storage beyond just usage Google Drive as a general way to transfer things, but I never set it up as a folder/auto storage. I was hoping there was something like that, but I wasn't sure. Thanks for the reply, I'll look into setting it up!

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I bet you could use freefilesync and then probably just run the sync on the whole emulator folder, or maybe just pick out the save folders for a sync run.

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I use Google Drive to sync my RetroArch saves and save state folders.

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I'd like to 2nd OneDrive its great for this. Just point your emulators saves to the folder and that is all now you can play the same game on any PC you have.

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On 6/16/2019 at 12:40 AM, damageinc86 said:

I bet you could use freefilesync and then probably just run the sync on the whole emulator folder, or maybe just pick out the save folders for a sync run.

I was looking at another program, Syncthing, but it seemed a bit complicated for such a small thing. FreeFileSync does look a bit less complicated.

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On 6/16/2019 at 4:39 PM, DOS76 said:

I'd like to 2nd OneDrive its great for this. Just point your emulators saves to the folder and that is all now you can play the same game on any PC you have.

I actually uninstalled OneDrive (or maybe I just disabled it, don't remember) because it kept interrupting what I was doing to ask me to sign in (like, even in the middle of a game). I assume that if you actually sign in & use it, that it's not invasive in ways like that? I might give it a try.

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I used to have google drive set up for this, both on my pc and my android device. It was a bit of a hassle to set up (especially on the android end), but it worked pretty good. After a while, I discovered that I don't really play all that much on my phone, so I went back to regular save directories. But regular pc-to-pc synching with any cloud storage software should be a breeze to set up, whichever you opt for :) Just point all the save paths in all your emulators to a directory on the cloud storage on all devices, and voila :)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PurpleTentacle said:

I was looking at another program, Syncthing, but it seemed a bit complicated for such a small thing. FreeFileSync does look a bit less complicated.

Yeah I used it once to test it out when i had two computers with launchbox on it, because I'd ad some images or something on one, and want it reflected on the other install as well.  It was very easy to use. it would also be  cool to use on the emulator folder to keep the versions the same across both computers.

Edited by damageinc86

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My situation right now is that I have my desktop PC where I keep my main copy of LaunchBox for editing (I usually keep a backup on another drive in case something goes wrong, which, fortunately, it never has). Then I also have my laptop in my room, and a PC in my living room connected to my TV. I'll often update the laptop version often, which means deleting everything, but making a backup of the save states/saved games beforehand. 

 

As you can imagine it would be quite handy to have either a cloud storage save spot, or that automated sync. It's great that we're at the point where either option is easy to setup.

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On 6/17/2019 at 7:19 PM, PurpleTentacle said:

I was looking at another program, Syncthing, but it seemed a bit complicated for such a small thing. FreeFileSync does look a bit less complicated.

FYI recently switched from google drive to syncthing which was pretty simple to setup, I think. So far I find syncthing to work better than google drive, and it let's you create your own private cloud. I use it on my local network only, but I'm pretty sure you can also use it over a wan. It works across linux, windows, and android. Also with syncthing, the only thing that limits storage space is the drives I have, so now I sync not only my game saves but also my LB data and media.

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That's pretty neat! I hadn't settled into setting up a synced save state/save game directory yet, since I was still updating my LaunchBox setup on my desktop PC & hadn't finalized things yet (maybe I never truly will, lol), but I've essentially reached the point where I'm ready to setup a synced system. 

 

Are you able to set it up so that if you update LaunchBox on one computer, it automatically updates LaunchBox on the other computers? I.E. so that if you add a game on one computer, it will automatically update on the other computers? I had considered that, but I wasn't sure if it would work smoothly.

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On 7/31/2019 at 10:59 PM, eatkinola said:

FYI recently switched from google drive to syncthing which was pretty simple to setup, I think. So far I find syncthing to work better than google drive, and it let's you create your own private cloud. I use it on my local network only, but I'm pretty sure you can also use it over a wan. It works across linux, windows, and android. Also with syncthing, the only thing that limits storage space is the drives I have, so now I sync not only my game saves but also my LB data and media.

Finally trying Syncthing... I have it set up on 2 computers, where each computer is sharing its RetroArch saves & states directories. The thing is, each one has a different file path because the username on each computer is different. So, for instance, let's say one of them is C:\Users\PurpleTentacle\LaunchBox\Emulators\RetroArch\saves whereas on the other computer it's C:\Users\GreenTentacle\LaunchBox\Emulators\RetroArch\saves. I changed the filepath on each computer so that it saves to correct folder, but what happens if I overwrite a save on one of them? I noticed that when I synced one of the folders, it asked me to take care of some conflicts. Will it does that every time? 

 

I'd kind of like it to operate as if they're literally the same folder, but I assume it doesn't quite work that way? What happens if I delete a file on one of my computers? Does it resync that file? Or does it delete it on the other computer? Also, just curious if you've happened to notice, but is running Syncthing resource heavy? My laptop struggles running emulation sometimes, as it is...

 

Dunno if you have the answers to those questions - just wanted to make sure I set this up right.

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I guess you'd sort of have to remember which computer you saved most recently at so that you don't sync from the older version onto the newer version.  It would be nice if you could tell it that the retroarch folder is the root folder to start it's path from.

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10 hours ago, PurpleTentacle said:

...what happens if I overwrite a save on one of them? I noticed that when I synced one of the folders, it asked me to take care of some conflicts. Will it does that every time? 

Syncthing will keep these two folders in sync, so if the newer version is on PurpleTentacle it'll be copied over the GreenTentacle. It will occasionally ask for clarification about which file you want to keep, but I've not seen this often; when I do see it I just select the newer file.

10 hours ago, PurpleTentacle said:

What happens if I delete a file on one of my computers? Does it resync that file? Or does it delete it on the other computer? Also, just curious if you've happened to notice, but is running Syncthing resource heavy?

If you delete the file on one computer, syncthing will delete this file on the other computer(s). I've not noticed syncthing to be resource heavy. It's starts quickly when I start windows and hides out in the tray. If you don't like its windows notifications, you can turn those off. I use it to sync emulator saves, launchbox data xamls, and launchbox media.

I use a three computer setup: a general purpose NAS and two computers on which I play games. I've tested retroarch and dolphin savestates made on one computer and have had no problems loading these states on the other computer. The sync is of course not instantaneous, but it's pretty quick in my experience on my home network (which uses powerline ethernet is not super fast).

Of course, you could see where clashes would occur if you were trying to update the same file on both computers at the same time; syncthing would probably ask for clarification about which file you want to keep. This is a problem with any type of filesync service.

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15 hours ago, eatkinola said:

Syncthing will keep these two folders in sync, so if the newer version is on PurpleTentacle it'll be copied over the GreenTentacle. It will occasionally ask for clarification about which file you want to keep, but I've not seen this often; when I do see it I just select the newer file.

If you delete the file on one computer, syncthing will delete this file on the other computer(s). I've not noticed syncthing to be resource heavy. It's starts quickly when I start windows and hides out in the tray. If you don't like its windows notifications, you can turn those off. I use it to sync emulator saves, launchbox data xamls, and launchbox media.

I use a three computer setup: a general purpose NAS and two computers on which I play games. I've tested retroarch and dolphin savestates made on one computer and have had no problems loading these states on the other computer. The sync is of course not instantaneous, but it's pretty quick in my experience on my home network (which uses powerline ethernet is not super fast).

Of course, you could see where clashes would occur if you were trying to update the same file on both computers at the same time; syncthing would probably ask for clarification about which file you want to keep. This is a problem with any type of filesync service.

Alright, thanks for your help. From all my testing, it seems to be working the way I want it to (I haven't tried deleting anything, but given that it's syncing things when I create a save state, I have to imagine it works). I do need to set it up on my 3rd PC (I have it connected to my living room TV), but otherwise, I think everything is the way I want it. I'm still debating whether I want to go as far as syncing the data xmls & media. I probably will, although I'm mostly done adding stuff for now (we'll see how long that lasts, lol). 

 

The one thing I need to avoid is that sometimes I'll delete my entire LaunchBox folder on my laptop, and then copy the latest version from my PC. I need to do that one last time, so I'll have to close SyncThing on both computers. I might try syncing the data xml & media folders after I do that so that I don't have to delete the whole thing ever again, although I feel like I'll inevitably leave something out (I was thinking it just needed to be LaunchBox.xml, Images & Video, but I took a look at the folders, and there's also Manuals, Music, etc... And even though I don't use those much, I'd still need to sync them, and I'd also need to sync the games folder as well, so... I'll have to think about it).

I'm definitely glad you suggested SyncThing. I'm always a bit hesitant to have programs running in the background due to how easy it is for them to mess things up, but so far, it's been very smooth, works the way I want it to, and it's fairly straightforward.

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9 hours ago, PurpleTentacle said:

I'm still debating whether I want to go as far as syncing the data xmls & media. I probably will, although I'm mostly done adding stuff for now (we'll see how long that lasts, lol).

Regarding LB folders, I ended up syncing Data (excluding LaunchBox and BigBoxSettings), BackupsImages, Manuals, Music, and Videos. I've pretty much got LB setup the way I want, but inevitably I'll add or edit something and only want to have to do this once. Syncthing lets you exclude subfolders or files pretty easily, so you can sync Data with a few exclusions, for example.

9 hours ago, PurpleTentacle said:

I'm definitely glad you suggested SyncThing. I'm always a bit hesitant to have programs running in the background due to how easy it is for them to mess things up, but so far, it's been very smooth, works the way I want it to, and it's fairly straightforward.

Glad it's working out for you. Yes, that made me a little nervous at first because of the time it took to curate games, metadata, and media -- didn't want to see all that work get blown away by a program. Just in case, I made a zipped backup of my LaunchBox install, though I'll probably never need this backup zip.

One other tip (?) -- I put everything I want to sync into one folder I call "Emucloud", and LB or emulator folders will have symbolic links into this folder. I use the windows command "mklink /J", for example, to create a directory junction from E:\meta\LaunchBox\Data to E:\meta\Emucloud\LaunchBox\Data. That approach keeps all my synchronized data in one place (Emucloud), and I only have to setup this folder in syncthing. Making symbolic links is pretty easy, and I just threw these commands into a simple batch file I can run on a computer when setting it up for emulation.

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On 8/12/2019 at 11:47 AM, eatkinola said:

Regarding LB folders, I ended up syncing Data (excluding LaunchBox and BigBoxSettings), BackupsImages, Manuals, Music, and Videos. I've pretty much got LB setup the way I want, but inevitably I'll add or edit something and only want to have to do this once. Syncthing lets you exclude subfolders or files pretty easily, so you can sync Data with a few exclusions, for example.

Glad it's working out for you. Yes, that made me a little nervous at first because of the time it took to curate games, metadata, and media -- didn't want to see all that work get blown away by a program. Just in case, I made a zipped backup of my LaunchBox install, though I'll probably never need this backup zip.

One other tip (?) -- I put everything I want to sync into one folder I call "Emucloud", and LB or emulator folders will have symbolic links into this folder. I use the windows command "mklink /J", for example, to create a directory junction from E:\meta\LaunchBox\Data to E:\meta\Emucloud\LaunchBox\Data. That approach keeps all my synchronized data in one place (Emucloud), and I only have to setup this folder in syncthing. Making symbolic links is pretty easy, and I just threw these commands into a simple batch file I can run on a computer when setting it up for emulation.

I think I'm gonna hold off on doing LaunchBox syncing, at least for now.


I did just add a third PC, and I made the mistake of syncing my RetroArch saves from the new PC onto my laptop's ScummVM saves... so that was interesting to delete, lol.

 

It did get me thinking, with 3 computers, is it best to have one main computer that the other 2 base their syncs off of, or should I do what I'm currently doing, which is to have each computer sync with the other two at the same time. I.E. computer A shares it's RetroArch saves with computer B & C, computer B shares it's RetroArch saves with computer A & C, etc... 

 

I was thinking of daisy chaining them, so that A shares with B, B shares with C, and C shares with A (so that it becomes circular), but my 3rd computer is set to sleep after enough downtime... and I'm guessing SyncThing stops working then...

 

Fortunately, I have a backup of LaunchBox with all my saves on both a MicroSD card & another hard drive on my desktop PC... but on Google Drive as well! Yeah, I've put so much time & effort into this that I'm not taking chances.

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