Syncthing is a peer-to-peer continuous file synchronization application that allows you to keep files between servers updated in real-time. It offers a privacy-first approach by encrypting all data when transporting between nodes. A Node can be your personal computer, or any server in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
In this guide, you will set up real-time sync between servers in a single Vultr VPC with Syncthing. Also, Machine A represents the main sync server, and Machine B refers to any other server in the VPC.
In this guide, we'll use two Ubuntu 20.04 servers in a single virtual private cloud (VPC).
Install the apt transport protocol.
$ sudo apt-get install curl apt-transport-https
Add the Syncthing release key.
$ sudo curl -s https://syncthing.net/release-key.txt | sudo apt-key add -
Now, set up the Syncthing repository using the following command.
$ sudo echo "deb https://apt.syncthing.net/ syncthing stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/syncthing.list
Update the server.
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install syncthing
First, enable Syncthing to run as a system service on the server and allow it to start at boot time using the following commands:
$ sudo systemctl enable firstname.lastname@example.org $ sudo systemctl start email@example.com
examplewith your actual user account.
Two directories are now present in your user home directory,
Sync contains files for transfer, and the hidden folder
.config contains all configuration files.
Now, open the
syncthing subdirectory under the
.config directory, and edit the file
config.xml using your preferred text editor.
Change to the directory.
$ cd /home/example/.config/syncthing
Edit the file.
$ nano config.xml
Locate the following configuration line:
</device> <gui enabled="true" tls="false" debugging="false"> <address>127.0.0.1:8384</address> <apikey>6Tg22ZGfkCfYQUTcMyrCdM5eJtR2b436</apikey> <theme>default</theme> </gui> <ldap></ldap>
Change the listening IP to
0.0.0.0, and retain
8384 as the port number. Your section should now look like the one below:
</device> <gui enabled="true" tls="false" debugging="false"> <address>0.0.0.0:8384</address> <apikey>6Tg22ZGfkCfYQUTcMyrCdM5eJtR2b436</apikey> <theme>default</theme> </gui> <ldap></ldap> <options>
Save and exit the file.
$ sudo systemctl restart firstname.lastname@example.org
Next, open all Syncthing network ports on the firewall with the following.
$ sudo ufw allow syncthing
Allow access to the Syncthing web GUI.
$ sudo ufw allow syncthing-gui
Restart the firewall.
$ sudo ufw reload
Repeat the above steps on Machine B.
Now that Syncthing is set up on both servers in the VPC, access the Syncthing GUI by visiting the respective Server IP addresses on Port
On the main Syncthing Machine B dashboard, click the
Actions menu in the top right corner, and select
Show ID from the options list. Copy the ID to your clipboard.
Now, on Machine A, locate the remote devices section, and click
Add Remote Device. Then, paste the Machine B ID, assign it a name for easy identification, and save changes.
Revisit the Machine B dashboard, and click
Add Device on the
New Device pop-up prompt. Then, under
Sharing from the main navigation bar, and check Machine A to share the default folder. Finally, accept the shared folder on Machine A to start syncing.
Your servers are now in sync. To test the service, create a simple
hello.txt file in the Machine B
Sync folder, and it will automatically Sync to the Machine A
$ echo "Hello Sync on Vultr VPC"> /home/example/Sync/hello.txt
To secure Syncthing from authorized access, visit the Settings Page, and select
GUI from the navigation bar to set up a new administrative user and password. Optionally, you can also change the port that Syncthing listens on to a random port.
You have successfully set up real-time sync between servers in a VPC with Syncthing. If the firewall is well configured, other servers in the VPC will be automatically discovered and added to your private sync network. Optionally, you can link other devices like smartphones and your personal computer to the Sync network using the Vultr server IP Address.