blog post: getting started with syncthing

Syncthing is a program designed to sync files across the Internet and your local area network. it is easy for a beginner to set this up. Following is a guide on how to set this up. If you want more info or to download the program go to their homepage. They also have some very good documentation on the program and their forums are wonderful.

Downloading the program is easy. Unzip the folder to a place where you will remember. I suggest unzipping the program to a place that can be easily gotten to. For mac users I suggest your home directory and no sub folders, so the contents of the syncthing folder is one level deep.

Once you have the file extracted follow these instructions.

step 1.

launch the exe file if you are on windows.. If you are on a mac, start a screen session by typing screen and hit enter. and cd to the directory you stored the syncthing files, and launch ./syncthing.  Once it is launched and the web UI, or user interface, comes up detach from the screen with ctrl plus a, then d. No need to hit enter. to reattach to the screen session if you need to view output (probably will never happen) type screen -r and hit enter, then detach when you are done with control plus a then d, again no need to hit enter.

for windows users just forget the terminal window is there. You guys don’t have screen. So simply launch the exe file and pretend the command line window does not exist.

step 2

from the web UI click add device. This will bring up a dialogue with the following items.

  • Device id. This is the device id you will paste in.
  • Device name (optional). You can give this a name or wait for the field to populate once the user has accepted your adding their device.
  • addresses. Don’t worry about that. This next section is for advanced users.
    *compression (leave this at the default)
  • introducer. Once you check this box all devices with this checked will show up in each others lists according to the help documents.
    *shared folders. You can check the folders you have set up to share with the device.

After you selected the folders click save. The following shows a screenshot of the device window for anyone interested.

screenshot of the add device section

step 3

paste in my computer ID.

X5TDAGJ-FP4LEIT-A4K4OFZ-7LH4Q3D-3QZAKVS-CYM75GQ-CMC3CPU-HGXW6QT 

This is a long string of numbers as seen above. Copying and pasting would be a good idea. If you have any folders you want to share, you check the boxes for the folders. If not go to the next step.

step 4

click save. You can then click actions at the top of the window in the nav bar. Then click restart. Every time you add a device you must restart syncthing.

step 5

The user whose device you added will then get a request. For anyone who gets a request, it will be after the navigation bar. and in the top most section. it will for now be a heading level 3. The user can then click accept, or decline if they don’t expect or know who  you are. 

Folders, folders and folders

Now for the folders. If you are already connected to me and I add a folder, or you do and you share it with me or someone else, an invite on the page. will be shown, and you have to look for it as it will be hidden and in order of your folders list so keep an eye on the web UI every once in a while.

Should you need to reopen the web UI simply go to  

http://127.0.0.1:8384

There you will find actions which is where all of your settings are and your computer’s ID.

hint

Set your folders to master that way you and only you can make changes.  and if you ever need to re-add a folder re-share it by checking the devices that are granted accesses and check master. There is a lot of good documentation that is in a easy to read format that does a better job then I could, also the forums on there are a big help. They helped me get sharing to the outside world with in about an hour.

conclusion

I hope this helps a bit.  As you can see the program is very very easy to use and the more you play with it the more you will learn, more then me. And the developers are willing to make all of the interface very accessible, so tweet them @syncthing with any feedback you might have. I will be updating this eGuide with more as I learn more but for now this should get you started.

looking at bit torrent synch for ios and osx

I take a look at bit torrent synch for both osx and iOS. there is a windows version but since I sort of don’t have a windows set up (it is virtual) there is no point in testing and reviewing it since all concepts are the same.

I start by going over the mac app in terms of settings, synching, adding a folder and viewing the history and transfers.

I then go over the iOS app in the same way, except I add a folder by scanning the QR code using iOS. Since I am not an android user you guys are on your own in terms of scanning your computer screens. I would like to hear the feedback you guys have in terms of accessibility though.

You can find the mac version here, and the iOS version here.

If you want the key for the folder I used as an example (It is read only) copy the following in to bit torrent synch

B4QVHNKOBQOOQT7DABAZCFF2BZPKFZUBP

feedback is welcome.