Sync App Settings in Dropbox With Mackup

I’ve been using Mackup since 2008 and now use it as my primary file-system and online backup. Thanks to a few article’s by Sayz Lim on how he organizes files and uses Mackup as an online backup. I was able to use his setup as a template to help me create my own setup.

One of the things I adopted was the Safe directory, which I use to backup all of my device’s application settings. On my Nexus 5 I use Dropsync to backup not only my app’s, but also a full backup of my phone. To backup app specific files on my Mac (or exentsions on my Chromebook) I’ve been creating symlinks for those files, that is, until yesterday when I setup Mackup.

Mackup a community-driven tool used to backup and restore system and application settings. Mackup makes it easy to backup and sync your settings to the cloud with Mackup, Google Drive, and Copy.

Read Mackup’s documentation for more information or to see a list of supported applications.

Getting Started with Mackup

If you’re on OS X you can easily install Mackup using Homebrew

brew install mackup

Mackup uses Dropbox by default, but this won’t work for me. A few years back I installed a new SSD and removed my optical drive in favor for the original HDD that came with my MacBook Pro (where my Dropbox directory located).

Now to setup Mackup to use my Dropbox directory we need to create Mackup’s config file: .mackup.cfg.

$ vi ~/.mackup.cfg

In order for this to work I had to use the file_system storage engine rather than dropbox. Below’s what my .mackup.cfg looks like:

Storage Configuration

[storage]
engine = file_system
path = /Volumes/HDD 750/Dropbox/Safe
directory = mbp

I chose to manually set which apps I wanted Mackup to sync (or ignore) and created a handful of custom configs for apps not supported by Mackup. For more information about creating custom app configs view Mackup’s documentation.

I also made a custom config for an app which Mackup does support, BetterTouchTool. After running mackup backup for the first time BetterTouchTool’s directory was using 700 MB in Mackup. My BetterTouchTool config simply excludes the directory from Mackup’s config - .Sparkle.

Applications to Sync

[applications_to_sync]
adium
bartender
bash
better-touch-tool
bundler
caffeine
call-of-duty-2
dotfiles
hazel
heroku
insurgency
iterm2
mackup
moom
pow
smcfancontrol
ssh
sublime-text-3
textual
transmission
transmit
usb-over-drive
xtrafinder

Applications to Ignore

[applications_to_ignore]
adobe-lightroom
xcode

Now that you’ve got all of Mackup configured it’s time to run the command and sync settings:

mackup backup

This command will create a symlink from the applications you designated in your .mackup.cfg file and sync those settings in Mackup.

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