Expected behaviour on identical files but different timestamps

I’ve run into a minor conundrum resulting from out-of-band copying of files. Months before I set up Syncthing on an offsite computer, I’d copied a number of large files onto it. Today I decided it might be simpler in the long run to just synchronise a folder between the two so that newer files at home get sent to the offsite computer as well. At the moment the home computer is a read-only node, and I’m hesitant to mark it as a read-write node because I’m a little concerned about a couple of things.

Firstly, Syncthing is reporting that there are 70 out-of-sync files, which I know differ only by timestamps. If I override the file changes, will it send new copies of all those files to the offsite computer, or just update the timestamps? I’d rather not send gigabytes of data that’s already there over a flaky connection.

Secondly, the files on the home computer are reflinked (the filesystem uses BTRFS) from elsewhere on that partition (partially to save space because symlinks won’t be sent). If I mark the home node as read-write, could the differing timestamps on the offsite computer cause Syncthing to break those links? I don’t really want to end up with duplicate data (e.g. sync conflicts) that I later have to clean up.

What behaviour should I expect in this situation?

If the content is the same, override changes would just cause timestamp updates. Regarding the deduplication, it would most likely break that, unless your filesystem is clever enough deduplicate same files at different paths automatically.

Ah ok thanks. I don’t think BTRFS has online deduplication yet, and overriding the changes before marking the home node as read-write will prevent them getting synced back.

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