Setting up Syncthing on Raspberry PI 2 as "always ON" device

Yeah, uhm, I think I still owe you a post for some dropbox’ish thing to sync files over multiple devices.
At first I was willing to give seafile a try, but after reading this it became a nono for me.

Fortunately there is Syncthing - a peer to peer based syncing solution that runs on almost any platform.
Another plus: there is an android app and a third party iOS app seems to be in development, awesome!

There is already an impressive number of tutorials for installation and setup out there and the syncthing documentation is great. Therefore I’ll only cover the very specific things to my setup.

Setting up the “Server”

Syncthing is no client-server application.
Files will only sync if at least two devices are running and online. To make syncthing a Dropbox alternative I have one device that is online all the time. It always knows the most recent state of my files.
We will use a Raspberry PI 2 running Arch Linux as our always online device.
Consider the following commands to be executed on the PI.

Step 1: Get the Syncthing Package

# Version might have changed when you are reading this.
curl -OL

Step 2: Unpack the Package

mkdir syncthing
tar xfvz syncthing-linux-arm-v0.11.21.tar.gz -C syncthing --strip-components=1

Nice, Syncthing is now unpacked in a folder called syncthing.

Step 3: Make the Web Interface accessible in your local network

Syncthing brings a nice web GUI that lets you configure your peer. By default it is only accessible from the peer running syncthing.
Since I don’t have desktop environment installedon the PI, I want to access the web GUI from my laptop.
In order to get this working we have to tweak the syncthing config a bit.

First, run syncthing once so it creates all the default folders.

cd syncthing/
# hit CTRL + C after everything booted up.

Now edit the syncthing config with your favorite editor.

vim ~/.config/syncthing/config.xml

Change this line

<gui enabled="true" tls="false">

to this

<gui enabled="true" tls="false">

We can now access the web GUI of the PI via http://IP_ADDRESS_OF_YOUR_PI:8384

Step 4: Run Syncthing on Startup

You may not want to start Syncthing by hand everytime you restart your Raspberry, the guys from Syncthing got your back.

# do the next stuff as root
cd syncthing # if your aren't already there
cp syncthing /usr/bin/
chmod a+x /usr/bin/syncthing

cp etc/linux-systemd/user/syncthing.service /usr/lib/systemd/user/
systemctl --user enable syncthing.service


Syncthing now starts at every boot!

I had some troubles figuring out how to do this proerly so I thought it would be worth mentioning.

Other Devices

If you are running Arch Linux on your machine it is as easy as this

pacman -S syncthing
systemctl --user enable syncthing.service
systemctl --user start syncthing.service

Set up your synced Folders and such

Please see the documentation for all the configuration and Web GUI stuff, it’s very comprehensive.


I am really satisfied with this solution as my Dropbox alternative, everything seems to work well and I hope my
few notes on setting it up on the Raspberry PI will save you some time while setting up your own Syncthing!