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Cloud Storage that ignores node_modules with a filter file

I have been using dropbox for a long time and even though I remain on the free plan I have never filled up the space. Important things live on there - and my laptop ever died somehow, I'd be okay.

But one frustration I have had is that there is no way to not sync certain folders - and this is a bigger problem with node_modules. Syncing thousands of files is ridiculously slow.

Note: you can selective sync with a paid dropbox account. I'm not paying for that.

This issue continued to perplex me. I did find pnpm which reduces amount of files used, but that didn't really solve the problem.

So I went searching for another cloud provider. Hopefully it would give me a folder that I could use - like .syncignore similar to how .gitignore files work.

Trail and Error

I did try which offers a free package, is decent, and allows you to selectively sync via the UI. This is okay. But it's not ideal either.

Along the way I ran into another service from Switzerland that has a great feature set from

During my first attempt using Tresorit I felt it was slow. But I tried again, and it was just fine. So I jumped in further, because I found out that Tresorit allows you to create a filter for syncing - kind of like a .gitignore file.

Setting it up

Step 1: set up an account, install the desktop software, etc.

Step 2: In the software, make a new Tresor (let's try ~/projects).

Step 3: Make a rule to filter all node_modules in every sub folder in ~/projects

You can read through this documentation which is buried a little bit on their site.

cd ~/projects
mkdir -p .tresorit/Filters
echo "[Ignore] //node_modules" > .tresorit/Filters/local.filter

This will add an ignore rule for all sub-directories named node_modules. They won't be synced. Brilliant.

Step 4: Make a test project and see how it works.

cd ~/projects
mkdir test-project && cd test-project
npm init -y
npm install [some package]

(you will see your node_modules folder here)

Now check in the Tresorit desktop app and see what was synced - you will not see your node_modules folder. You should see package.json and package-lock.json

Summary: Now you have one file with one rule in your ~/projects that filters all sub-directories name node_modules. Nifty.

Happy npm-ing!

Top comments (2)

tmackness profile image

With dropbox allowing to ignore files/directories using the terminal it is now quite easy to do.

I built a node CLI Dropbox Ignore node_modules to do this very easily.

rauschma profile image
Axel Rauschmayer

– [Junk] may make more sense than [Ignore] because Tresorit then lets you delete parent folders without warnings.
– With [Junk, Directory], node_modules must be a directory.