You can put different synced folders wherever you want them, but their internal hierarchy will be synced to be the same on every sharing device. Avoid nesting folders (making one shared folder within another) unless you have thought it through and control all other devices that might access them.
If I understand correctly, you want files from different shared folders mangled into one, just on a specific device. That’s not easily possible with Syncthing, as both shared folders pointed at the same path would pick up the other’s files as well. You might be able to work something out with ignore patterns, but it’s definitely a troublesome or even dangerous construct.
That’s possible to if you set the laptop folders to “Send Only” and then point all of them at the same path on the desktop set as “Receive Only”, but obviously the synchronisation will then be strictly one-way, so you won’t be able to actually make any changes on the desktop to the files.
sorry for the very late reply guys. I had a peer review of a paper i wrote on food safe 3D printing that i need to finish and wrap up. I also had an aerospace project for school due today. We launched our test rockets for federal certifications. We hit about 5300 feet today…
Thanks for answering this question for me. I will not do nested folders.
whats the best way to synch my laptops folders with another machine? IE the pictures folder, documents folder, videos folder, etc etc without making a huge mess on the other machine?
For the folder tree shown above, I would set up 3 “Folders” in Syncthing on device “LAPTOP”, then share them with device “HOME PC”.
On “HOME PC”, when accepting each shared folder from “LAPTOP”, set the Folder Path field to the location of the corresponding destination folder on the SSD (e.g., on a Windows PC, if S: is the drive letter for the SSD, S:\MATT\Documents). Repeat same steps for the Pictures and downloads folders.
Two Android smartphones sync to their corresponding subdirectories. Each phone shares 3 folders labeled “DCIM”, “Images” and “OpenNoteScanner” in Syncthing. On the NAS, Syncthing maps each shared folder to the matching directory (e.g., /storage/emulated/0/DCIM on my Moto phone is synced to /srv/Syncthing/Moto/DCIM on my NAS with the Syncthing folder set to “Receive Only”). A 1-to-1 topology.
For the “Syncthing” folder, the /srv/Syncthing/Syncthing directory is shared by 7 devices: LG and Moto phones, 3 laptops, 1 desktop PC, the NAS (a many-to-1, or hub-and-spoke, topology).
On the two phones, I don’t need everything in Syncthing, so the .stignore files allow only selected directories. I use Markor for taking notes and configured my preferences to /storage/emulated/0/Syncthing/Notes as its default work folder.
It’s perfectly fine to leave your photos and other files where they currently are. I think the hardest part of setting up Syncthing, Resilio or any other similar sync system is figuring this part out (it took me few rounds before I was happy with mine ).
Let’s walk thru an example. I’m going to assume the following:
You log onto your laptop and desktop as “Matt”.
Your laptop and desktop are running Windows 10.
The desktop has a large capacity SSD assigned to drive letter S:.
Syncthing is already running on the laptop and desktop but has not been set up yet.
This means that Windows 10 automatically created and set your default pictures folder to C:\Users\Matt\Pictures.
On the laptop, click Syncthing’s [+ Add Folder] button and under the General tab enter “Pictures” for the Folder Label field and C:\Users\Matt\Pictures for the Folder Path field. For the time being, leave the remaining settings as-is and click the [Save] button.
On the laptop, click Syncthing’s [+ Add Remote Device] button and under the General tab enter the Device ID as shown in Syncthing on the desktop. Enter “desktop” for the Device Name field. Switch to the Sharing tab and tick the checkbox for the “Pictures” folder that was created in step 1. Click the [Save] button.
At this point, Syncthing on your desktop should have displayed an alert that a request to share a folder has been received from your laptop. Accept it, then under the General tab enter “Pictures” for the Folder Label field and S:\Matt\Pictures for the Folder Path field. Click the [Save] button.
Presto!.. assuming I didn’t make a typo … your laptop should immediately start syncing photos to/from C:\Users\Matt\Pictures to your desktop at S:\Matt\Pictures.
Repeat the 3 steps above for your documents, downloads and whatever other folders you might want to sync.
Of course, adjust the folder paths, drive letters and labels as needed for your actual environment. The rest of the settings can be also be customised for a one-way sync (i.e., if your SSD is intended to be an archive), full scanning frequency, files to ignore, etc.
This isn’t the only configuration possible, but it’s one of the simplest because each folder sync is 1-to-1: the contents of a folder on your laptop syncs to a folder on your desktop (each end can have distinct folder paths).
In that sense, yes you can sync “multiple folders to one folder”. Because the target folders are still separate, no matter whether they have a common parent folder. Just make sure you add three separate folders to the Syncthing configuration, as @gadget advised above. There is absolutely no need to duplicate the data on the same device.