Vivaldi lands Sync functionality in latest browser snapshot

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 29, 2017
Internet, Vivaldi

The most recent snapshot of the Vivaldi web browser comes with integrated Sync functionality to sync data across devices.

The much awaited functionality makes it easier to keep data such as settings, passwords or extensions in sync automatically.

While Sync landed in the Vivaldi 1.14 snapshot, it is not yet a given that the functionality will land in the next stable version of the web browser as well.

Vivaldi staff will monitor the feature closely and base the decision on how it performs both on the user side but also on Vivaldi's side as infrastructure is required to maintain the Sync functionality of the browser.

Vivaldi Sync first look

You need to create a Vivaldi account to get started with Sync. Simply go to the "join the Vivaldi Community" page to create an account if you don't have one already. Once you have confirmed the account you are ready to get started with Sync in Vivaldi.

You do need to have installed the latest snapshot release, at least version 1.14.1030.3 of the browser, to test Sync functionality.

Load the Sync settings in the browser vivaldi://settings/sync/ and enter your Vivaldi username and password.

You may get an error message right now telling you that the login to the sync server failed with an Internal Server Error, Gateway Time-out, or other errors. If that is the case, wait until the issue is resolved by Vivaldi.

If you can sign in to Vivaldi Sync, you get the following options on the Sync page:

  • Enable automatic synchronization of all data.
  • Select specific data (bookmarks and speed dial, settings, passwords, autofill, history and remote sessions, extensions, notes) that you want to sync.

The page furthermore displays the last synchronization date and time, and whether the data syncing to the server and from the server were successful.

You need to set a specific sync password which is used to encrypt the data that is sent to the server, and to decrypt it when it comes from it. The password never leaves the local browser, so that Vivaldi or anyone else cannot access Sync data on the servers due to encryptiom

Data is uploaded to Vivaldi's infrastructure, and synced with any device running the browser if you sign in with the same Vivaldi account.

The lead engineer of Sync notes that Vivaldi modified Chromium's synchronization engine by using end to end encryption for the data, and by modifying it so that additional data types may be supported in the future.

I asked Vivaldi to provide me with additional information on the security and privacy of Vivaldi Sync, and will update the article as soon I get a reply.

Vivaldi Sync works in the following way: when a particular data type is synced, Vivaldi's Sync engine pulls all entries from the server, decrypts them, and merges them with the data found in the Vivaldi browser. New entries are added, all is encrypted, and then set to the server.

Vivaldi users may load vivaldi://sync-internals in the browser's address bar to get detailed information on Sync in the browser.

Vivaldi hopes to release a standalone Sync server in the future to give users the option to run their own server independently from Vivaldi's infrastructure.

Article Name
Vivaldi lands Sync functionality in latest browser snapshot
The most recent snapshot of the Vivaldi web browser comes with integrated Sync functionality to sync data across devices.
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  1. Doug Beasley said on November 29, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Vivaldi “sync across devices” will make a lot of sense when (and if) vivaldi ever rolls out mobile versions of the browser.

    ‘Til then, it’s just a hypothetical feature to many users.

    1. crambie said on November 29, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      Plenty of people have a laptop and a desktop.

  2. TianlanSha said on November 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Maybe by version 2.0 it will be usable as a main browser, now it’s still a pain to use.

  3. Clairvaux said on November 29, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Vivaldi’s bookmark manager is worse that Firefox’s in some respects, and that’s saying something : no tags, no way to adjust column width in advanced view (many URLs therefore can’t be viewed in full).

    It does sort bookmarks by default contrary to Firefox. And it does have a trash can, which Firefox inexcusably does not.

    1. Mirtun said on November 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Agreed. When I was running Vivaldi it was not capable of importing bookmarks from the default browser (FF). Tried several times, ….nothing, just frustrating. Forgot to mention this issue in my last posting.

      1. Clairvaux said on November 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm

        That’s one feature I’m not complaining about. I just imported my 15 000 + bookmarks from Firefox into Vivaldi, and it was blazingly fast. When importing Firefox bookmarks into Firefox, it takes ages, freezes the program, throws various error messages…

        Maybe you should try again ?

        I did choose to import them in HTML format. I declined the option to “import from Firefox”, which locates automatically your profile, and does not allow you to change the location. Since I have several Firefox profiles, this did not suit me. One more sign that Vivaldi is in beta, really.

  4. crambie said on November 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Perhaps it’s finger trouble but I deleted all the default bookmarks on my macbook and imported mine then synced. Installed it on my desktop without deleting the default bookmarks and synced and it merged them keeping the default bookmarks too. I’d have expected them to have been deleted. Will have to try again and make sure it wasn’t me. Other than and it taking a while to sync it seemed OK.

    Startup does seems a little faster but still not exactly quick.

  5. akg said on November 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    vivaldi is slower as compared to other chromium browsers. i prefer opera over other chromiums,

    1. Matt said on November 29, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Give Vivaldi 1.13 a try.

  6. Joe K. said on November 29, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    This is a good start, but obviously releasing a mobile version of Vivaldi is the real key to sync for the majority of users. One of the primary challenges still facing Vivaldi in my opinion is the general sluggishness of the browser. All of Vivaldi’s Chromium- based cousins (Chrome, Opera, Brave) are faster and provide better performance. Yes, Vivaldi offers a variety of features that set it apart, but until they do more to address the raw performance of the browser I remain skeptical that Vivaldi will ever be more than a niche browser used by power-users and few others.

    I have no issue with Vivaldi targeting power users with their features. I actually think it is kind of nice that at least one of the “major” browsers is actively targeting power users, but that focus on the power user should not also distract the company from providing a well-performing browser for the “average” user.

    I am rooting for Vivaldi to succeed, especially when you consider the numerous privacy concerns that surround Chrome and Opera. Right now though, Vivaldi’s performance holds me back from making it anything more than a program installed on my PC that I monitor, but never really use.

    1. crambie said on November 29, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      I’m not sure how many developers they have but it doesn’t seem like loads so perhaps it makes sense to concentrate on one thing at a time. Brave has plenty of its own problems on the desktop, primarily until you can install extension I’m not interested but I’ve a big list of small things too.

      1. crambie said on November 29, 2017 at 11:19 pm

        I agree with that, they seem to enjoy adding non-essential things when they should be getting the basics right including performance. But some love it because of the bells and whistles so I guess you can’t please everyone. The good thing is there’s plenty of choice now.

        I’ve just installed brave on my phone after I saw that firefox is using doubleclick and something else. Not really played with it yet but have heard good things about it.

      2. Joe K. said on November 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm

        Yeah, Brave is still definitely in beta on desktop. Brave is my primary mobile browser due to the built-in ad and tracking protection. The desktop has suffered from a number of bugs, but at the very least it is very fast (at least until you open up 10+ tabs).

        I’m sure the Vivaldi team is very small, but it would still be nice to see them place a higher priority on improving the performance of the browser, rather than adding features after feature. Sync is obviously a must for a modern browser, but performance is something that has plagued Vivaldi from its launch and very little appears to have been done about it by the company. The impression the company has put forward to date appears to be a “yeah, we know performance is bad, but look at all the bells and whistles our browser has”. Which is fine for Vivaldi’s existing user base, but I’m not sure that approach will ever lead to them experiencing substantial growth.

  7. Richard Allen said on November 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Still seeing incomplete loading of extensions at startup even though I have 3 out of 8 disabled.

    1. Richard Allen said on November 29, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      Actually, I like Vivaldi. It works very well for me, other than the extremely annoying incomplete startups, lighter and thinner fonts, and mediocre smooth scrolling, it’s great. Seriously, except for all that it works fine. :-D

      The problem is too many of the extensions I use have specific functions they are ‘supposed’ to be performing during browser startup. For that matter, Firefox uses 6 of those 8 extensions, a total of 9 in Firefox, and everything gets loaded and done during startup. I just wiped my Chrome folder from AppData\Local did a sync and still see an incomplete browser startup there as well. A less than two second browser startup would be admirable if the extensions were also getting loaded and working.

      1. Richard Allen said on November 30, 2017 at 5:35 pm

        Sorry, I probably should have said that I ‘deleted’ my Chrome folder which is inside the Google folder. Because I’m using both Chrome and Chrome Dev, I have a folder for each of them inside AppData\Local\Google, otherwise I could delete the whole Google folder. The Chrome and/or Chrome Dev folder will be recreated at the next browser startup, actually the whole ‘Google’ folder will be recreated if that was what was deleted, minus any personal settings of course. So yes, it is exactly like what you would see when doing a clean install. There will be no bookmarks, passwords, history, settings or extensions.

        IF… you were to save a backup of, at the least, the AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\’Default’ folder you could reuse the files: bookmarks, favicons, and login data (passwords) that is inside the Default folder in a new profile. The ‘Default’ folder contains the profile info. After I ran my little test in Chrome yesterday I replaced my newly created and synced profile folder with my backup of the whole ‘Chrome’ folder which contained all my extension configs, flags and All of the settings, there are some settings that do not get implemented when using sync. It is Always best to sign out of sync before playing around with the folder. Command line switches are in the shortcuts so they do not need to be re-applied. The Vivaldi profile works the same way. In Vivaldi you can also access all of the internal pages just like in Chrome, chrome://flags, chrome://gpu, chrome://settings and so forth can all still be used. ;)

        One thing to remember is that in chromiium browsers the folder in AppData\Local contains both the cache And the profile, the cache is spread out in like half a dozen folders, kind of annoying that it is. In Firefox browsers, the cache is at AppData\Local\Mozilla or Waterfox or whatever and can be deleted without any loss of info to the profile and will be recreated at the next browser startup. Firefox profiles are in the AppData\Roaming folder.

        A ‘Reset’ in chromium browsers is not as thorough as a ‘Refresh’ in Firefox. The extensions are only disabled with a Chrome Reset and the extension settings are saved which is both good and bad. I hope I was making sense. ;)

      2. John said on November 29, 2017 at 9:51 pm

        Hi Richard,

        What do you mean by “wiped my Chrome folder from AppData\Local”? Are you referring to the \AppData\Local\Google folder?

        Do you mean deleting this folder entirely? And in that case, does Chrome recreate a new profile for you on the next startup?

        I ask because I always wondered how to start from scratch (i.e. create a new profile) on Chrome without doing a clean install. In Firefox this is easy via about:profiles or the bult-in profile manager, but Chrome only offer an option to reset settings in chrome://settings (which I’m not sure of what it does exactly, but I guess that it’s similar to Firefox refresh feature).

    2. crambie said on November 29, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      I’ve never seen that, not saying it’s not a thing though. Perhaps try the go to firefox suggestion of creating a new profile?

      1. Richard Allen said on November 29, 2017 at 5:15 pm

        I’m seeing the exact same thing with Chrome and Chrome Dev also. All of my installed browsers start with one tab, the Startpage search engine, a very simple page to render. Sometimes the theme is not getting loaded, secure site info in the address bar is not getting loaded, elements are not getting hidden by uBO, javascript is not getting enabled by No-Script Suite Lite

        Installed extensions are:
        Canvas Defender 1.1.0
        Magic Actions for YouTubeâ„¢
        No-Script Suite Lite 0.2.4
        Popup my Bookmarks 5.1.2
        Tampermonkey 4.4
        uBlock Origin 1.14.18
        uBlock Origin Extra 2.56

        I very much doubt it’s a problem with all 3 browser installs, bandwidth or hardware.
        Win7 Pro, Intel Core i5 4460 @ 3.2-3.4GHz, 16GB DDR3L @ 1600MHz, GTX 750 Ti SC, 240GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD (OS), 1TB WD Black (DATA)

  8. Mirtun said on November 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    On my computer Vivaldi was behaving like an overweight monster. Sluggish and slow. Acts like a toy browser with changing colors which are getting in the way because I could not see what was going on in the search field. Others may have a better experience, good for them.

    I uninstalled this thing since it is not working for me. Back to Opera, despite some concerns.

    1. Christoph142 said on November 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      It’s admittedly a bit hidden: Themes -> Click the Edit button for the active theme -> Disable “Accent color from active page” ;)

      1. Mirtun said on November 30, 2017 at 2:12 am

        Thank you so much !

      2. Clairvaux said on November 29, 2017 at 9:58 pm

        A bit hidden ? That’s a wild understatement ! I would never have found it without your instructions ; and even then… “Edit” is an icon. There’s no text. You’re supposed to guess there’s something interesting underneath…

        For all its merits, Vivaldi feels very much like beta. One more problem : the mouse wheel scrolls the page by too much. If there’s a way to adjust that, I haven’t found it.

    2. crambie said on November 29, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      It has always been sluggish on mine too so keep trying it and then deleting it. But just downloaded this snapshot and so far it’s not bad. Will see if it’s still OK once I’ve installed extensions.

    3. Christoph142 said on November 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Mirtun,

      maybe you should give it another go. Vivaldi can (and should) be customized to your needs. You can e.g. disable the coloring of the tabs. And the team recently (1.13) did a rewrite of its window handling architecture under the hood to make it faster and more stable. :)

      1. Mirtun said on November 29, 2017 at 7:30 pm

        Hi Christoph142,

        could you please tell me where to find the “disable coloring of the tabs” ? I heard about it before but for some reason I cannot not find it in the settings, maybe I am just blunted by habit. Thank you.

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