Resilio Sync

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Revision as of 14:46, 28 July 2014 by Emlun (talk | contribs) (Missing storage path: Update systemctl commands to current format (btsync@user.service is no longer present in current package release))
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BitTorrent Sync (BTSync) is a file sharing system that relies on the BitTorrent protocol, and differs from other file sharing software in the connection type between devices. Instead of uploading the files to an online server, and then each device fetching them from the server itself, the file transfer is done directly from peer to peer, and therefore there is no limit on data storage and/or transfer speed.

Security

BitTorrent Sync encrypts the traffic between devices with AES cypher and a 256-bit key created on the base of the secret — a random string (20 bytes or more) that is unique for every folder to be synchronized.

Secrets

BitTorrent Sync uses a specific method for folder sharing, the 'secret': a random 21-byte key Base32-encoded.

Synchronization

When a device adds a folder for synchronization, a secret is generated. From now on, every device that wants to synchronize that folder must know the secret key.

The synchronization has no speed or size limits, as long as both devices have enough disk space.

Installation

btsyncAUR can be installed from the AUR. The package includes systemd service definitions for managing the btsync daemon. This package creates a default /etc/btsync.conf for system/root operation. Before enabling with systemctl review this file and make desired changes, e.g. to the login id and password.

Alternatively, the bare 'tar.gz' packaged executable is downloadable from the official website. The rest of this guide assumes that you are using the btsync AUR package.

Usage

The Linux client of BTSync does not use a typical GUI, instead it sets up a WebUI server accessible at localhost:8888. Shared folders can also be configured statically in a configuration file, but doing so disables the WebGUI.

Once installed, you'll first need to create a configuration file at ~/.config/btsync/btsync.conf, see #Configuration. When that is done, start and (if you want it to start on boot) enable the service:

# systemctl start btsync@user
# systemctl enable btsync@user

replacing user by the desired username. The service will run as the named user.

You can also run it as the btsync system user, just leave the @user part out:

# systemctl enable btsync
# systemctl start btsync

Configuration for this user is located at /etc/btsync.conf, and metadata is saved in /var/lib/btsync/ by default. You should review the configuration settings especially user and password, see below.

Configuration

A sample configuration file can be created using btsync --dump-sample-config. You'll probably want to change some of the settings, including:

  • device_name
  • storage_path
  • webui/login
  • webui/password
Note: The btsync executable does not create the storage_path directory if it doesn't exist, you will have to do this manually or use #Automatic_config_file_creation.
Note: The storage_path setting defines where metadata will be saved, not the synced files themselves. Where synced files are saved is configured on a per-folder basis in the WebGUI.

Automatic config file creation

The btsync-autoconfigAUR package provides a systemd user service (btsync-autoconfig.service) which, if enabled, triggers when a user's btsync.service starts and creates a config file with default values if it does not already exist. The install script enables the service for all users by default. Although disabling it defeats most of its purpose, it can be disabled using

# systemctl --global disable btsync-autoconfig.service

Individual users can then enable it if they like:

$ systemctl --user enable btsync-autoconfig.service

btsync-autoconfig.service creates ~/.config/btsync/btsync.conf if it does not exist, and guesses some default values of the settings:

  • device_name: $USER@$HOSTNAME
  • storage_path: ~/.btsync
  • webui/login: $USER/password

The script also creates the storage_path directory set in the config file if it does not exist. This is done intependently from the creation of the config file.

Unofficial GUI

The btsync-guiAUR package provices an unofficial clone of the GUI interface for BTSync available for Windows. By default it disables the WebGUI interface for security reasons. If you want to migrate your existing BTSync setup - move the contents of your current storage folder (probably ~/.config/btsync) to ~/.btsync and disable the btsync@user Systemd service, that you're using currently.

Troubleshooting

Missing storage path

If you start the service but can't reach the WebUI, check the status of the btsync by entering systemctl --user status btsync (or systemctl status btsync for the system-wide instance).

A common error is Storage path specified in config file does not exist.. This is easily fixed by mkdir ~/.btsync, or whatever your storage_path is set to.

WebUI is not running on port 8888

If the config file was generated by btsync-autoconfigAUR it will be configured with a different port. Rather than 8888, the port for the user's instance of btsync will be 7889 + $UID. If your $UID is "1000", the port will be 8889.

Ignore some files/folders syncronization

If you have files in your sync folder that you don't want BitTorrent Sync to track, you can use .SyncIgnore. .SyncIgnore is a UTF-8 encoded .txt file that helps you specify single files, paths and rules for ignoring during the synchronization job. It supports '?' and '*' wildcard symbols.

Note that .SyncIgnore is applied only to the folder where it is contained and will not work with the files that have already been synced. If you add indexed files to .SyncIgnore, they will be deleted on other syncing devices. In order to avoid this:

  • Remove the folder from sync on all the devices.
  • Modify .SyncIgnore file on all of them so that it contains same info.
  • Re-add the modified folders.

ARM alignment error

Add the line w /proc/cpu/alignment - - - - 2 to /etc/tmpfiles.d/btsync.conf. (You need to create the file).
Note that this may lead to performance degradation.

See Also

Official BitTorrent Sync FAQ