Introduction: SparkleShare for OSX, a Dropbox Alternative

I am a recent enthusiast of Dropbox-like services and I was longing for an open-source alternative.

Enters Sparkleshare...

Since I struggled to install it on my machines, I thought I would log here what I had to do to get to work. This tutorial is probably for the technical minded... If it proves popular I will detail each step.

I installed servers on Fedora (no real problem there) and on Mac OSX (which did take me a while). I only used the clients on Mac OSX so far...

I hope this helps.

Step 1: Sparkleshare on Mac OSX

on MAC OSX: (server)

- System Preferences : enable remote login (ssh) [ "...type user@address" ]

- install GIT (using git...dmg)

- install Sparkleshare (drag drop in Applications)

- generate keys
ssh-keygen (no passphrase)
cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

- 'fix' ssh for Max OSX
chmod go-w ~/
chmod 700 ~/.ssh
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

- create empty repository:
git init --bare ~/my_repository.git

- on OSX 10.6.7, git is installed in /usr/bin, nothing to do...
- on OSX 10.6.8, git is installed in /usr/local/git/bin, .bashrc needs to be modified:
echo 'PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/git/bin' >> ~/.bashrc

on MAX OSX: (client) (note: this can be the same machine as the server machine)

- generate keys
ssh-keygen (no passphrase)

- copy public key to server: (you will be prompted for your server password)
rsync ~/.ssh/      # '~' is 'alt+n' followed by a space

- add key to authorized_keys: (you will be prompted for your server password)
ssh user@adress
cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys     # '~' is 'alt+n' followed by a space

- you can now connect to the server passwordless
ssh user@adress

- start SparkleShare:
check 'my own server'
Address: user@address
Folder Name: /Users/user/my_repository.git

Step 2: Sparkleshare on Fedora

on Fedora : (server)
(uname -r :

- install sparkleshare
sudo curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/sparkleshare.repo
sudo yum install sparkleshare

- create repository
git init --bare ~/my_repository.git

Voila !


sprocket12 (author)2012-02-22

Hah! Found it! Noob problem.

For those interested, SparkleShare instructions say to use the user 'git' as it is the default. Not exactly with the client on Mac OS X.

The site says "Click the SparkleShare status icon and select “Add Hosted Project”. Select “On my own server”, enter your server address in the Address field and “/home/git/MyProject” in the Remote Path field. Click Add."

Where is says to enter your server address, you must use:

Change git to the name of the user you set up with git on the server.. :)

sprocket12 (author)2012-02-22

I hope this thread is still being monitored. I desperately wish to get this working and need help.

I am running a mac mini OS X Lion server and a Macbook Pro also running Lion server. I wish to set up SparkleShare on the server and access from the client. I have followed all the directions but I always get "Something went wrong...".

1. I am working with SparkleShare 0.8.2
2. The ssh server is installed and I can connect without a password.
3. The only deviation I have found is that git is already properly installed in /usr/bin. I read somewhere that it was installed with the current Xcode. I don't see a reason to create a .bashrc just to repeat /usr/bin in the PATH environment variable.
4. I also found some command examples where someone was troubleshooting via the shell. Here is what I get when running them from the client.

client:SparkleShare sprocket12$ git clone --progress "ssh://git@server/Users/git/MyProject" "/Users/sprocket12/SparkleShare/.tmp/MyProject"
Cloning into /Users/sprocket12/SparkleShare/.tmp/MyProject...
warning: You appear to have cloned an empty repository.

It *looks* like it it is working..but????
5. I also installed the client on the server and ran it there. Same errors using 'localhost' and the true IP address of the server.

Any ideas? Thanks.

nicoo (author)2011-08-10

I had some questions in PM... For those who don't know ~ is a shortcut for $HOME.

It can be obtained using the key combination 'Alt+n' (followed by a space).

Alternatively you can use $HOME or /Users/user (if your user name is 'user').

So (hopefully I am not confusing the issue even more), you can either type:

rsync ~/.ssh/
rsync $HOME/.ssh/
rsync /Users/user/.ssh/

midnightlightning (author)nicoo2011-10-10

It's a whole lot easier than that; to the left of your "1" key is the "tilde/backtick" key. Shift plus that key is the tilde "~" character. ALT+N and a space gives the "diacritic tilde", needed for the spanish "ñ" character (floating higher on the line; space makes it print without a character underneath it: ˜). Likely your terminal application won't know the difference, but if you do the two key commands in a rich text editor, you may see the difference.

nicoo (author)midnightlightning2011-10-10

Yes... and no.

On an American keyboard, the tilde key is indeed to the left of the '1' key. On a British keyboard it is located to the left of the 'z' key.

On a French keyboard (the question I got in PM), however, the tilde key is nowhere to be found. Hence my 'region-free' solution...

mbruckert (author)2011-08-10

Thanks Nicoo,

Great Job!

I was not able to find the ~ on my stupid keyboard!

But who is the most stupid: the keyboard... or me?

aem38 (author)2011-07-14

thanks for sharing, i'll use it !

'll feedback if worked fine ;)

thanks again


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