External synchronisation drives

(See #181 for background.)

External drive format

A drive is identified as carrying Isuma content if it has a folder in its root called ISUMA_CONTENT (all caps).

This folder is further subdivided by content type and content options. Type is, for example, video or picture, and options are things like low, high and ipod for various resolutions or bitrates. So, one might find a file structure like this on the drive:


The synchronization script recurses through this directory structure, copying all files from the external drive to the internal drive (with the exception of any files named “raw”, because raw files are not needed by any machine except the local server they were originally uploaded to, and the site server). It then does the reverse, copying all files on the local drive to the external. In this direction, raw files are copied, because if the upload queue is large, it may be possible for a file to arrive at the site server via hard drive before it arrives via rsync.

Creating a new synchronisation drive

This must be done from an existing media player.

  1. connect the drive
  2. find the drive identifier (dmesg | tail or cat /proc/partitions)
  3. format it with an ext3 or ideally ext4 filesystem: mkfs -t ext4 -j /dev/sdb1
  4. mount the drive: mkdir /mnt/sdb1 ; mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1
  5. create the magic directory: mkdir /mnt/sdb1/ISUMA_CONTENT
  6. launch the sync script (or reconnect the drive): /usr/share/isuma-local-servers/automount/ sdb1

This should take around 10 hours.

See also #9275.

Syncing a media player

  1. connect the drive
  2. observe the led start flashing
  3. wait for the led to stop flashing
  4. disconnect the drive

The media player should now be synced with the drive, and the drive should have the latest content from the media player.