[Solved] FreeFileSync crash in Linux when syncing

My favourite app, FreeFileSync, in Linux version, normally will crash during syncing. The reason is not really known, only know that it is related to gtk+ or gtkmm. That means, FreeFileSync is not able to solve the problem.

So, normally, I need to sync several times, around 2 or 3 times to complete the syncing. First syncing will suddenly crash the application. Then I need to sync again, because the first syncing is not yet complete, there are some more files need to be synced. Sometimes, second time also crash, that is why I need do the syncing about 3 times.

So, this is not the best solution, but it is able to sometimes solve the problem.

  1. Do the comparison.
  2. We will see the list of files to be sync.  If we press “sync” button now, normally will crash after a while during the syncing. To avoid this, we need to hide all the items in the list. Thus,
  3. At the “Select view” area, deselect all the “arrows”, so that the list will become empty.
  4. Now, sync.

As a result, the application will not crash during the syncing.

Update (2012-09-20)

With the version 5.7, the bug is totally solved. Thanks to zhnmju123.


7 thoughts on “[Solved] FreeFileSync crash in Linux when syncing

  1. Hi,

    did you report this problem yet? It’s quite strange that hiding the files before the sync avoids the crash, ’cause FFS doesn’t do anything with the main dialog at this time. But it could be a hint towards a solution. One wild theory is that deleting files during sync, causes trouble when loading file icons on the main dialog. Does hiding file icons or setting certain view filters also avoid the crash? If yes, please write me a mail or report on the FFS bug tracker.


      1. Ah, indeed, this is a GTK problem.
        FFS’s business routines directly connect to Posix API and are thankfully isolated from all this GUI stuff (granted, this doesn’t help much if GTK brings the whole app down by a mere assert(!)). So the only place where a GTK module would be interested in file traversal

        Gtk:ERROR:/build/buildd/gtk+2.0-2.22.0/gtk/gtkfilesystemmodel.c:746:gtk_file_system_model_sort: assertion failed: (r == n_visible_rows)

        must be the wxDirPicker control. This theory is backed up by other reports of this bug:


        Now I just don’t understand how hiding all rows in FFS can have any impact on the crash. It obviously doesn’t affect the two wxDirPickers.

        Also, it might be worthwhile to check if a FFS version without the two wxDirPickers still shows signs of this crash. If not, we know where to attach. Let me know if you’re interested in a test.

    1. Thanks for your reply. For your information, just today, I tried to sync with the method I mentioned, it still suddenly exit during the syncing. That means my solution still not work. May be it works before just with the coincidence.

      This problem is happened in every FFS version, the latest is 5.4. But there is a weird thing, my Dell computer with Xfce and HP Mini with LXDE normally have this problem during syncing. But in my HP Pavillion with Xfce, this crash never happened before. The only difference I know between these laptops is that HP Pavillion is dual core processor, and the other two are not.

  2. > works before just with the coincidence
    >Pavillion is dual core processor, and the other two are not
    This sounds like and could very well be the symptoms of a multithreading bug in GTK. From a rough look at the GTK code it is doing an async file monitoring in order to keep its dirpicker control up to date. It could be that it is monitoring some of the files that participate in your synchronization job. This explains the odd indeterminate time of each crash.

    The next step would be to test “FreeFileSync_5.4_no_wxDirPicker”. This should work then, unless there is some other place where GTK has to monitor files, that I am missing.

    After that I can think of how to mitigate this problem. In the link above another tool is just destroying and recreating the dir picker each time. This could work for FFS and would be better than a crash.

    PS: Your problem seems to match another unsolved issue reported here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/freefilesync/+bug/990537

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