1.22.0 - testing extended attributes on Mac

Testing 1.22.0’s new extended attributes support on Mac:

Syncing Finder tags definitely seems to be working so far, but changes to tags on existing files don’t seem to be picked up by the file system watcher - there has to be a folder rescan on the machine which made the tag change for it to be propagated to other machines.

Syncing Finder comments doesn’t seem to work at all however - I can’t get these to sync at all. Is this a known issue / the expected result? Was very much hoping Finder comments would also sync with this new functionality.

There’s some magic going on here. The Finder comments are in an xattr and do get synced, but don’t show up in Finder. You can see them on a file on the command line with xattr -p com.apple.metadata:kMDItemFinderComment $filename.

There’s also something wacky about xattr-only changes not always getting picked up or applied, yeah…

Hmm I wonder what’s going on / whether there’s an easy fix at all.

Another thing (haven’t had a chance to test this as yet but just wondering) - is it possible to have Mac extended attributes sync to a linux machine? I use Syncthing with a couple of Macs but also a couple of linux machines (which are receive only), and I’m wondering whether the linux machines are capable of syncing extended attributes that originate the Mac machines?

No, they don’t sync to Linux. But they live in the metadata stored in the Syncthing database – so you can sync from one Mac to another via the Linux box and retain xattrs.

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Perfect!

Regarding Finder comments, I think .DS_Store files are involved in this somehow… the comments are stored in an xattr as you’ve mentioned but they don’t display in Finder unless .DS_Store is also synced, or something like that

OK I’ve confirmed at least one aspect of this using another app that supports extended attributes (Arq Backup):

  • Tags attach to files themselves. If you backup testfile.txt with Arq Backup and restore it, its Tags restore along with it.
  • Finder comments seem to belong to the .DS_Store file of to the folder the file resides in. If you restore testfile.txt by itself, its Finder Comments don’t restore along with it, unless you also restore the .DS_Store file corresponding to the folder it was in.

So applying this to Syncthing, the “magic” seems to reside in .DS_Store files, which I had included in my .stignore file (and thus weren’t being synced). But removing .DS_Store from my .stignore file doesn’t solve the issue, so there’s another piece to this somewhere.