Correct method to add new device to existing group of nodes?


I have several devices in my syncthing group and it’s been working great for a year or so. When I set them up they were all new/empty and I’ve added files gradually to whichever machine I happened to be working on and everything synced nicely. It all worked so good I was lulled into a sense of complacency.

A couple of months ago I replaced the hard drive on one of the devices and didn’t pay much attention to the steps I used because I thought it would just work. Unfortunately that left me empty directories on each device and a bit of panic because synthing dutifully synced all devices to the new device empty directories.

I’m about to add a new machine to my group of devices and would like to prevent a mistake like last time.

What would be the correct method to add this new device and have it populated with the files from the existing devices?

Should I create the directories first on the new device or let syncthing create them? Should I copy the complete directories(including the .st folder) and contents from an existing device? Should I preserve timestamps? Does it matter the order of adding the new device? e.g. add existing devices to the new first or add the new device to the existing?

RHEL 7.2 syncthing v0.14.21

Thanks, Gary

Empty folders are probably the result of the mount point beeing somewhere inside the shared folder. If you unmount it, syncthing just sees “files are gone. must have been deleted” and sends the delete to all devices. If the mount is the shared folder or the shared folder is under the mount, the missing .stfolder marker will tell syncthing that there is something wrong and it will stop the folder until the marker is back.

Regarding your new device:

If you have the bandwidth, it is easiest to add it blank and let it sync.

If not, you should copy the files to the new device via USB drive or something and make sure to preserve the timestamp, or syncthing will set that new timestamp everywhere. Then you add the folder and let it scan completely before sharing it with other devices. It doesn’t matter who adds who first and who shares the folder first. On first sync, Syncthing will tell you that everything is out of sync, as the new device is at his version 1 and doesn’t have any remote versions in his database. As the file contents and mtimes are the same, syncthing will do nothing* and report it in sync.

  • Syncthing will exchange the index. Depending on the data size and file count that can take a while.
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Thanks wwelch. That was easy and worked great.


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