In every aspect of life, whether business, friendship, or family, data or information is very important. Thus, something as minor as a glitch or error in data transfer, accuracy, consistency, or data privacy, can cause a major impact on our lives. However, data synchronization has made it possible to maintain data integrity at a lesser cost. Data synchronization is the process of consolidating data within multiple devices or sources while ensuring consistency is held within the devices’ systems. To achieve synchronization of data, we require sync software such as Syncthing. In this article, we will go through the installation and usage of Syncthing on Solus.

What is Syncthing?

Syncing is a great activity that keeps files consistent across many devices and locations. Thus, if you make changes on a particular file on one device, the modifications are synced on all the other devices in the network. Syncthing is a continuous open-source file synchronization software for synchronizing folders and files between multiple devices. It can sync files for computer devices within a local network or over the internet. Compared to other synchronizing applications, Syncthing is free and offers special security measures.

Features of Syncthing

  • Cross-platform: It supports various operating systems including Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • File Versioning: With Syncthing, you can archive old versions of files once the application is deleted or replaced.
  • Price of Syncthing: Syncthing is free and open-source; thus, you don’t need to pay or subscribe to use Syncthing on your device.
  • Easily Operated: Since Syncthing is a peer-to-peer file synchronization tool, it works well with no advanced tweaks. It is an easy-to-use the tool.
  • Privacy and Security: Syncthing ensures that the communication between devices is secure. There is no third-party cloud storage in Syncthing; thus no eavesdroppers or backdoors. You are also allowed to decide where you want to backup your data.
  • Syncthing has a fast syncing speed.

Installing Syncthing on Solus

We will start by upgrading the Solus system.

sudo eopkg upgrade

Syncthing is available in the default Solus repository. Let’s go ahead and install Syncthing using the below command on the Solus terminal.

sudo eopkg install syncthing

To confirm that the installation was successful, check the version of Syncthing.

$ syncthing --version
syncthing v1.20.1 "Fermium Flea" (go1.18.1 linux-amd64) [email protected] 2022-05-15 16:45:47 UTC [noupgrade]

Setting Up Syncthing as a Systemd Service

Begin by updating the systemd service list.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Start the Syncthing service with the following command.

sudo systemctl start [email protected]$USER

Enable Syncthing service to auto-start at boot time using this command.

sudo systemctl enable [email protected]$USER

With the above command, a symbolic link will be created pointing to the [email protected] file.

 $ sudo systemctl enable [email protected]$USER
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/[email protected] → /usr/lib/systemd/system/[email protected].

Check the status of the Syncthing service. It should be active and running as illustrated below.

$ systemctl status [email protected]$USER[email protected] - Syncthing - Open Source Continuous File Synchr>
     Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/[email protected]; enabled; vendo>
     Active: active (running) since Sat 2022-07-09 11:33:06 EAT; 37s ago
       Docs: man:syncthing(1)
   Main PID: 2607 (syncthing)
      Tasks: 15 (limit: 9476)
     Memory: 16.1M
        CPU: 1.619s
     CGroup: /system.slice/system-syncthing.slice/[email protected]
             ├─2607 /usr/bin/syncthing serve --no-browser --no-restart --logfla>
             └─2618 /usr/bin/syncthing serve --no-browser --no-restart --logfla>

Accessing Syncthing Service

Syncthing listens to port 8384 by default. Thus Syncthing will run on 127.0.0.1:8384 on your web browser. Immediately after Syncthing opens, a pop screen will appear requiring you to set a password. Click on the Settings button.

From Syncthing settings, head over to the GUI section and set an authentication user name and password. Then click on Save.

A window will pop up asking you to sign in using the username and password you have set.

Syncthing Web User Interface will be displayed as illustrated below. Note that from the Web User interface, the device where Syncthing is installed will be presented.

Using Syncthing file synchronization on Solus

First, we need to add a device or devices so that we can sync between them. Keep in mind that Syncthing must be installed in more than one device for the synchronization of files to take place.

Install Syncthing on Second Device

I will use an example by installing Syncthing App on an Android device from the Google play store.

After the Syncthing app has been installed on your android device, click on open.

A Syncthing welcome page will be presented. Click on Continue.

On the next slide, click on grant permission for Syncthing.

The User Interface for Syncthing will open after you click on the last slide.

Click on the three horizontal lines on the left, as shown above, to see more options on Syncthing.

Click on Show device ID from the image above. From, the screen that appears, copy the ID on the clipboard. We will connect this android device with our Solus device using the ID we have copied. The same case method of copying ID will happen for other devices with a different operating system apart from Android.

Add a Second device on Syncthing on Solus

From the bottom right of Syncthing Web UI, click on Add Remote Device. Note that Syncthing automatically recognizes devices that are in the same local network and have Syncthing installed. However, if your device is not recognized, add it manually.

From Add remote device window paste or type 2nd device’s Device ID which we copied earlier. Then click on the Save button for the connection to be successful.

From your second device, which in my example is Android, go to Web GUI.

Add the Solus device from your second device Web GUI. It will appear as a notification, see the illustration below.

Then click on save on the window that will appear.

From Syncthing on Solus, the second device will appear connected.

Syncthing Folder Syncing on Solus

The main reason for installing Syncthing on Solus is file or folder synchronization. Now that we have already added a second device, we will go ahead and sync with it. Let’s first click on Add Folder from Syncthing on Solus.

Enter the path for the file or folder you want to share from the Solus system to the second device. You can also give the file a Label. Note that, the path is the file location on the Solus system.

Choose the device to sync by going to the sharing tab still on the same window as shown above. Tick on the box beside your second device and click on save.

After clicking on Save, the second device will receive a notification with options on whether to accept or reject the folder.

Then, still, on the second device Syncthing Application, you will be asked for the path where the sent file will be stored.

From the second device, you can see the sent folder from its Web GUI.

Conclusion

Syncthing is an outstanding application used in syncing files or folders between devices. Using this guide, enjoy installing and using Syncthing file synchronization on the Solus system. Syncthing provides a simple way to sync files in a fast and secure method. Have fun with this excellent file synchronization tool.

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