How do you deal with parasitic items in synchronizations?


Already posted about ghost items here : ghost folders in shares

But this seems not to be enough.

I create a share and synchronize it with several devices. At some point, I realize that the trash on a linux server, which is represented by .TrashXXXX files, has been duplicated.

And that’s when the trouble began: yes, I read the damn doc, and saw that there’s exclusion management with the .stignore file. But that’s the technical side of things. What’s missing are really concrete user cases: you’ve created a share, and duplicated it on several devices, and you see files you don’t want to share, except that you don’t necessarily know where they’ve gone.

What’s more, even if you do know (in my example, if you have a single Linux machine, which .stignore file should you enter with the exclusion? that of the server that (might) send the file, or that of all the destinations?

And frankly, I’m sure I’m not the only one with .TrashXXX files, desktop.ini files, and other ff_sync.db files (those created by Foldersync, or freefilesync, or others) that you don’t want to see spread everywhere: how do you deal with that before it’s too late?

And for me now, how do I go about it when it’s too late? : I’ve just added an android machine to an existing share by declaring this machine only on my NAS ( “receive only” as a first step on that new machine) : this new machine tells me “there are 13 files not sync, and purple box empty…”.

So, on the NAS and for this share, I empty the .stignore that contained “.Trash*” + “.Trash**”, and then, the NAS outputs “out of sync”, 13 items, and in detail “syncing: no connected device has the required version of this file” on a .TrashXXXX file that no longer exists anywhere ( because I removed them of course!)

and I don’t even want to talk about these files which were present on my android devices, except that they were not found in the local file manager when I tried to delete them…(mounted sdcard on laptop : no such files… really stranges ghost files… As if syncthing could persuade the local system of the presence of non-existent files…

What I generally do when I’ve missed to ignore something is 1. delete it on the source (or move it, if it’s something that should remain, just not there), 2. let the other devices sync that deletion, 3. add it to an ignore file for the future.

1 Like


you’re lucky to know which server the unwanted files come from once they’re present on all the replicas.

From memory, I first created the exclusion ( from everywhere, as this aspect of knowing where to put the exclusion is unclear ), then then destroyed the files on all replicas. Result: ghost files.

Once they’re synced it doesn’t really matter though, deleting them will remove them everywhere. Then you ignore them wherever they’re likely to reappear, or everywhere for good measure.

ok. thanks. I will try that next time.

After trying to reuse the same share, .Trash ghost files are rising on other devices… Now, I’m on the way to recreate my share from scratch with a new ID.

As for where to store exclusions (for a read-write share on several devices), common sense dictates that exclusions should only be created where parasitic files are likely to be created by an application. Example: .aup3-wall file (Audacity temporary files), to be excluded only from my Linux workstation, but not from the NAS, as the NAS is not likely to create any itself.

Quick question: does the ignore list control sending, receiving, or both?


1 Like


My new share is working better, without that ghost files I had before. But on one of my android device, I can see that a file “xxxx.aup3-wal” is synced althoug I set that exclusion list on my linux laptop which is the only one to use audacity thus able to generate such file. Where is the problem with my exclusion list ?


Need to remove the extra l at the end of the ignore pattern. :wink:

Can also remove .Trash* because .Trash** matches the same files.

1 Like

that’s why I’m asking for help: it’s so big you can’t see it… :smiley: also thanks for advice about dual entry for Trash…