Raspberry Pi

Synchronizing Files on your Raspberry Pi with Syncthing

Syncthing is an open-source file synchronization application used to synchronize files between multiple devices, such as smartphones, personal computers, or embedded devices like Raspberry Pi. It provides a secure platform to easily share your files to other devices without using any third-party application, thus making life relatively easy and fast.

This article is a detailed guideline for synchronizing files on your Raspberry Pi device using Syncthing.

Synchronizing Files on Raspberry Pi with Syncthing

The installation of Syncthing doesn’t requires any complex installation method instead you can easily complete its installation of your Raspberry Pi device using the following simple steps:

Step 1: Updating Raspberry Pi Packages

Before moving towards Syncthing setup, it’s better to first update your Raspberry Pi packages using the below-mentioned command:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Installing Prerequisite

After updating the package, you will also need to install an additional package called “apt-transport-https” as this will handle the source that will operate over HTTPS service. You can install this package through following command:

$ sudo apt install apt-transport-https

Step 3: Downloading GPG Key

Next, you will also need to download and save GPG Key using the following command to ensure that the package is coming from a trusted source.

$ curl -s https://syncthing.net/release-key.txt | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/syncthing-archive-keyring.gpg >/dev/null

The above command will successfully add the GPG key.

Step 4: Adding Syncthing Repository

After adding the GPG key, you can apply the following command to add the Syncthing repository to the Raspberry Pi source list.

$ echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/syncthing-archive-keyring.gpg] https://apt.syncthing.net/ syncthing stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/syncthing.list

Step 5: Updating the Source List

Once, you add the Syncthing repository, you will need to update the Raspberry Pi source list using the following command:

$ sudo apt update

The above command updates the Raspberry Pi’s repository list.

Step 6: Install Syncthing on Raspberry Pi

With source list updated, you can use the following command to install Syncthing on Raspberry Pi:

$ sudo apt install syncthing

Step 7: Running Syncthing on Raspberry Pi

After successfully installing Syncthing on Raspberry Pi, execute the following command to run Syncthing on Raspberry Pi.

$ syncthing

When you execute the above command, it will open the Syncthing web interface with the address “” on your browser. It also generates the configuration file with the first time execution. You have to close the browser and use the “Ctrl+C” keys in the terminal to stop Syncthing on Raspberry Pi.

Note: It is important to open Syncthing at least once before moving towards the next step.

Step 8: Opening Syncthing Configuration File

To make the changes, you have to open the Syncthing configuration file using the following command:

$ sudo nano ~/.config/syncthing/config.xml

Within this file, find the below-given line:


You can use “Ctrl+W” to find the above line in the file.

Now, change the IP inside the line with the IP address of your Raspberry Pi and you can find your Raspberry Pi address through following command:

$ hostname -I

Save the above file by using the keys “CTRL+X”, Y and press enter to exit. We are doing this step just to ensure that only the trusted users who are connected with our local network will have access to the files.

Step 9: Creating a Service File

In the final configuration step, we have to do one last task that is to make a service file for Syncthing using the following command:

$ sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/syncthing.service

Add the following information inside the file:


ExecStart=/usr/bin/syncthing -no-browser -no-restart -logflags=0
SuccessExitStatus=3 4
RestartForceExitStatus=3 4

# Hardening


Save the file and finish creating the Syncthing service file on Raspberry Pi .

Step 10: Enabling Syncthing Service

After creating a service file for Syncthing, you will need to enable the service again through the following command:

$ sudo systemctl enable syncthing

Step 11: Starting Syncthing Service

Now start the Syncthing service on Raspberry Pi using the below-mentioned command:

$ sudo systemctl start syncthing

Step 12: Checking Syncthing Service

You will also need to ensure whether the Syncthing service is running fine on your Raspberry Pi and you can do so by issuing the following command::

$ sudo systemctl status syncthing

This ensures that the Syncthing service is running perfectly fine.

Step 13: Accessing Syncthing Web Interface

Now use the address to access the web interface on your browser.

First, you will need to ensure Syncthing privacy so only you can can access your files on your system and you can do this by clicking on the “Settings” option.

In the “GUI” tab, enter username, provide password and then click on the “Save” button.

As soon as you save the changes, you will have to provide your username and password to access the web interface.

To synchronize the files between the devices, you will need to add the device ID by clicking on the “Add Remote Device” option. The device you want to add must have a Syncthing install and the device ID will be inside the application. After that, you can share your Raspberry Pi folder with that particular device by clicking on the “Add Folder” option.


Syncthing is a robust application that provides users the freedom to share files between multiple devices in a secure way. You can install and run this application on your Raspberry Pi browser through the above-given steps that include adding a GPG key and repository and using the installation command to install the application on your device. After the installation, you will need to make some changes in the configuration files to access the Syncthing web interface on your browser. With the remote device ID, you can allow the device to perform file sharing with your Raspberry Pi.

About the author

Awais Khan

I'm an Engineer and an academic researcher by profession. My interest for Raspberry Pi, embedded systems and blogging has brought me here to share my knowledge with others.