Call for testing: syncthing

Hello!

tl;dr: sudo snap install syncthing --candidate

When we stopped developing Ubuntu One, I was left with two options to synchronize my files: use a service I don’t trust, llke dropbox or google, or set up my own storage server. I was just about to make the wrong decision when I found syncthing :slight_smile:

Syncthing replaces proprietary sync and cloud services with something open, trustworthy and decentralized. Your data is your data alone and you deserve to choose where it is stored, if it is shared with some third party and how it’s transmitted over the Internet. https://syncthing.net/

It’s simple enough to set up, but the interesting part is that it’s fully decentralized. It changed the way I think about the cloud. I have enough devices at home to make redundancy and high availability, so I don’t really need to put my files in someone else’s computer. We need more services like this one, but enough random talk and to the good news:

The syncthing snap is in the store! It has been there for a while as an experiment in the syncthing community, but after some time testing it I’m now confident that we can recommend more people to install it.

It would be very nice if we could help them testing the snap. Here’s a little guide to get started:

If you haven’t used syncthing before, maybe it will convince you to remain local for your personal data :smiley:

Also, they have an interesting release process. They are not following our recommendations for continuous delivery, but they were able to easily adjust their custom scripts and add snaps with little effort: https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing/blob/master/build.go#L542 It’s a nice success case for the flexibility of snaps (and a little unexpected for me).

Let me know how it goes.
pura vida.

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I’ve seen that but then forgot about it. At least its promises look very nice. Installed!

How’re you finding it in practice? Any gotchas or suggestions?

There are a two details that might be unexpected for somebody used to the deb,

When you ujse the deb, you see in the GUI:

Path to the folder on the local computer. Will be created if it does not exist. The tilde character (~) can be used as a shortcut for /home/elopio.

When you use the snap, you get:

Path to the folder on the local computer. Will be created if it does not exist. The tilde character (~) can be used as a shortcut for /home/elopio/snap/syncthing/common.

So the meaning of ~ is different and that might be confusing.

Also, you can’t sync hidden . files, nor files that are not in $HOME.

We discussed about making the snap classic, but it seems to me that we lose too much by removing the confinement. The ~ thing is an UX issue on syncthing, because the folder field shouldn’t be a text field, it should be a file picker. And the file picker story in snaps needs to improve with content hub or file portal or something.

So the two problems we’ve found should be fixed, and they are not terrible.

Now, a tip for any syncthing newbie: make sure that your devices are in sync before traveling. I used to turn off my devices to save battery for the trip, and then add files and secrets to my desktop that would obviously stay only there. I was too used to the cloud magic.

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I have just instaled syncthing on Fedora 25 server and one thing that surprised me is that it is not a daemon. I suspect this is related to the fact that it wants to konw your HOME and we don’t have user services yet. Do you think it will become a user service once support for that lands in snapd?

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Yes, I think it should be autostarted, but not running as root. Currently the steps to do that are not super nice, so the snap will be much nicer than the other packages if it solves that problem:

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I actually was just thinking about picking up syncthing again and moving away from the cloud services. And I find this! :smile: going to install this on a couple of boxes.

Have been using the snap for a couple of weeks now. Other than having to add it manually to the list of services which are autostarted along with my unity session it’s been smooth sailing.

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@elopio are there plans for anyway of allowing snap to start services from other users?

Even if it were a manual step to enable the service. Like: snap enable-service syncthing name-of-daemon

@elopio Back again. :grin: Just out of curiosity was there any reason not to include the removable-media plug? Been using the snap a lot and found my self wanting to be able hook it up so I can sync some external drives.

Just wanted to check before opening a pull request. :sunglasses:

Hello! Sorry for the late reply, I was afk. And thanks a lot for testing it.

I think there should be a way to autostart a user service. @niemeyer is that in the roadmap?

@geekgonecrazy go ahead and make the PR. That’s a very good plug to add there. :thumbsup:

It’s not yet in the roadmap, but it does sounds like an interesting idea.

Hello,

I didn’t find this thread before, but I found a bug I believe is tied to the snap version of Syncthing: Syncthing cannot access hidden files and directories

Edit, ok, I read the whole thread and you are already aware about the hidden files issue.