File organization solutions

My files are a mess! I have a couple desktop machines, each having internal storage drives. In addition, I have a couple external drives. They all have a jumble of images files, audio, video and text files. All that might just require hand sorting but a larger concern is: a simple way to get newer files [only] copied over to the storage files. I’m looking for a ‘less time-consuming’ method to address backup and organization. Suggestions?

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Get a nas solution such as a Synology or build a nas and store all your files there and have your different devices connect to your nas through nfs or samba. Or something similar like that, that way you will have all your files on the same location and you will only have to back from one place.

I built a RPi 4b headless server just for that purpose. Except I don’t use nfs for linux, I use sshfs. I have two identical USB SSD’s. One for data, one for data backup. In addition, I added minidlna server and stream my Songs and Movies from the server to any computer or smart TV in the house that has a DLNA client.



I’m using a Synology NAS, shared folders are mounted through smb protocol (TCP/445).
It is a RAID 1 setup, so one drive can fail and won’t cause me problems.

I also have an external USB drive that I connect to the NAS to backup some important folders.
I’m using an app called USB-Copy for this backup, mirrored mode, so it is a fast backup, only the first time that takes a long time.

This NAS is also running a Plex server, which is great…
You have so much options with a NAS…


I just have a server running nfs for my local lan which all my local devices can access if needed and to access those same files from outside of my lan I use Nextcloud with 2FA. On that same server I run Plex, Emby and Jellyfin to stream files for myself, friends and family.

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I’m using wireguard for that purpose, I don’t feel comfortable with a port forward to my NAS…
Wireguard can only be accessed from IP ranges from my country (geoIP).

For Plex, I do have a portforward, but I’m using pfblockerNG to create a custom allowed IP list.
One list is constantly being updated with the Plex servers that check if my server is online:

And along with that list, a geoIP only allowing IP ranges from my country too…

I have my Nextcloud hardened according to Nextcloud hardening documentation and checks for updates daily. It’s a convenience for me to be able to access my files from anywhere and I prefer it to having it on my own nas to having to use cloud storage.

I have quite a few people that connect to my Plex server, that would make it more work for because most home connections here are dynamic ip addresses. don’t want me having to maintain a whitelist of ip addresses to be my second job outside of my normal job, it would defeat the purpose of making my Plex server easily available for people I know to stream from and Plex is updated automatically as well.

SSHFS is such an under-appreciated tool I think. It works great, and uses your normal keys so no setup required. I don’t know how well it scales, but for a little home LAN setup it’s perfect.

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I’m not aware of that Nexcloud solution, I use VPN for everything, I connect to my firewall, and my firewall routes everything to my local network.

This is not a problem with the setup I have, as long as people doesn’t try to connect to my Plex server from another country. I also receive a notification when users connect due to Graylog server (Syslog and Netflow)…
It’s kind of a overkill setup ehhe

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I have friends and family that live internationally and most of those are computer illiterate so it would be an extra job to provide “support” on that end if I made that difficult for them and AFAIK smart tv’s don’t have a vpn option. At home I try to keep my setup as simple as possible because I don’t want to be getting headaches once I am done working and try to relax in my free time.

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Forgot to mention, I’m also running Snapshot Replication (BTRFS).
I’m now checking the possibility to send some snapshots from my OS to my NAS…
Or perhaps, backup some entire nested subvolumes, not sure if this is possible but would be pretty nice.

If you want to clean up the old storage then you may find czkawka useful for removing duplicity files.

Is it just buckups (an archive that you will access only in case of a data loss) or do you want to actively work with the files but have them centralised only in one place (documents, films, pictures, music, …)?

For backups I use borgmatic.
For the other case - if you have a machine that can run 24/7 then you can enable ssh server on it and connect to it with a simple sftp://user@server in thunar and dump everything there (or other mount options like sshfs, smb, ftp, …). But then do not forget to backup that storage server as well. :wink:

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