Sparkleshare free & opensource alternative for Dropbox

For a while now I’m looking for a good n-way sync tool, which I can run on my own storage. I used Unison for a while, but while it is good at syncing, I never got it to work realtime or started syncing when folders changed. Another downside was that Unison was fairly slow on Windows. So this year was starting great by Synology to bring out a tool in the new DSM firmware called Cloudstation. This tool was working great the only downside it had that there is only a Windows client available at this moment.

A few weeks ago I saw some tweets about Sparkleshare, that the Windows cliënt was almost ready and the good news, it now is.

So I decided to try it out, cause Cloudstation and Unison are nice, but I’ve a mixed environment so I’m always taking concessions with those solutions.

Luckily SparkleShare claims to solve this issue and even better it aims to be simple for the end-user, it has an Android application and a webinterface.

Normally I would tell here, how to install this, but it is really simple (within Linux), it is about 4 commands and you’re ready to go!

The only thing which cost me a little time, was to figure out how to get the website up and running and this was only caused, cause this is a separate project, called Sparkleshare Dashboard.


I tested Sparkleshare for a couple of days now and syncing is working good, there is still some work to do to make this a real Dropbox killer, especially the Windows cliënt has some minor issues. So if you are just like me and always wanted a “private” Dropbox, install Sparkleshare and test it out!

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3 Replies to “Sparkleshare free & opensource alternative for Dropbox”

  1. Hi Rob, interesting posting – from reading it I understand that I can make my synology NAS a sparkleshare host, and use the sparkleshare sync client.
    I tried to do that, but the commands provided on the sparkleshare website are only for ubuntu/red hat distros (I tried them in my synology box and they fail)
    did you succesfuly installed sparkleshare in a synology NAS/
    thanks in advance for the help

  2. Dimitris :

    did you succesfuly installed sparkleshare in a synology NAS/

    No I did run it on Debian, with a folder mounted from the NAS.

    It should be possible to run it from the NAS especially when it has an Intel CPU, but haven’t tested/tried it myself.

    At this moment I use Cloudstation, which comes with the Synology firmware and works pretty well. The downside is, they have no Linux cliënt that I know of.

  3. thanks for the quick response –
    I actually tried (or still trying) owncloud but I am dissappointed on the sync client speed (there is one for linux too now) – I let the sync agent to sync over 24hrs and it didn’t finish (I already had the copies of the data in both – NAS and my pc but it was very slow to verify process)
    do you have any comments on the owncloud sync client performance?

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