Can there be any issue with auto-merge? With the text files, but not only

Is an issue of auto-merge likely to occur when I edit

  • text files

  • non-text ones, for instance, the ones MS Office, Db files (or any kind); semi-binary, that is

  • binary ones


Does Syncthing often fail merging changes properly?

I don’t plan to edit the files simanteneously. Rather, I’ll edit one on one device, then I’ll take other device and edit a file again. I’ll try to go online first – priour to editing it on the 2nd, 3rd …N-th device – but sometimes I may not be able to.

Syncthing cannot merge files* that have been changed on multiple devices simultaneously. In such cases, syncthing creates conflict files for both versions. The decision on what to do with these conflicts is left to the user.

See Understanding Synchronization — Syncthing documentation

*Except metadata-only changes


If changes are not made simultaneously (i.e. all changes have been synced before new changes are made), there is nothing to merge by definition. It’s just a normal change in that case.

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“normal change” is also a “merge”.

Likewise, a “merge” is a “change”.

No. Let’s take the definition from Wikipedia:

In version control, merging (also called integration) is a fundamental operation that reconciles multiple changes made to a version-controlled collection of files. Most often, it is necessary when a file is modified on two independent branches and subsequently merged. The result is a single collection of files that contains both sets of changes.

Syncthing cannot “reconcile multiple changes made to a […] file[…].”. It can only create conflicts in such a case, as I’ve mentioned in my first post.

A “normal change” as I wrote above, is an event, where a file is changed while being in sync with all other devices prior to that point. In such a case, the single change is simply transferred and applied to all other devices. At no point there are two versions (or changes) of a file that would require merging.