One-Way Sync Configuration

I know there are many threads here about the “Send Only” option, but none of them address my desired setup. Preface; I am brand new to Syncthing, and yes I have read the documentation. My issue with the documentation is that it’s confusing when it refers to “devices” and “folders”. So, risking snarky replies, I want to ask you all…

I want to use Syncthing as a one-way backup tool. Right now I just want to copy all files from my Android phone to my Ubuntu server, with the ability to periodically delete files from my phone but leave them in-tact on my server. I have no need to ever change or delete the files on the server, so this is a true one-way sync.

On the Web GUI, I have a “Folder” set up as “Send Only” and shared with my Android phone.

On the Android phone app, the same “Folder” is NOT set as “Send Only”.

After the initial scan, 1,360 files were copied from the phone to the server as desired. I have NOT deleted any files from the phone, and have since added more files. The new files since the original sync HAVE NOT copied over to the server. On the Web GUI, both the “Folder” and “Remote Device” (phone) say “Up to Date”.

What am I doing wrong?


You’re setting the server to send only, while it is the phone that should be send only - changes should be sent from the phone to the server.

You might want to set ignore deletes on the server as well.

Thanks for the quick reply. As you instructed, I changed the “Folder” (that’s shared with the phone) to “Send & Receive” and I enabled the “Send Only” option on the Android app of my phone.

I just snapped a new picture on my phone, and confirm that it copied over to the server successfully (yay). Then I deleted the same photo on the phone, and the same photo was deleted from the server (this is undesirable).

You mention an “ignore deletes” setting on the server, but I don’t see this. Where exactly do I find this option?

It is in the advanced settings accessible in the top right actions menu. If you intend this to be a backup solution, I would consider doing actual backups on the server instead of such a pseudo-backup.

Tanks, I found the “Ignore Delete” option under the Folder menu of the the Advanced settings.

To your second point, I absolutely do plan on backing up the server! For simplicity, I will likely setup an rsync cron job that will copy to a remote NAS drive.

Now that I have syncthing working as I intended, I am not sure how to initialize a sync of files that were added to the Phone during a period of time when I didn’t have syncthing configured correctly. The initial sync copied around 1,300 files from my phone to my server, then I messed with the settings and skipped a few days of sync activity, resulting in about 45 files that exist on my phone but not my server. All of the original files still exist on the phone, I haven’t deleted anything. What is the best way to sync these skipped files from the phone to the server?

Just run Syncthing and let them sync? Maybe I don’t understand what you mean by skipped.

I’m guessing that syncthing doesn’t do a file-to-file comparison between the phone and the server every time it scans…especially not the way it’s set up and send only and ignore deletes. So it’s only syncing new files (files added to the phone since the last scan). When I had the config wrong, scans were still running but syncthing didn’t copy around 45 files from the phone to the server.

If it’s going to be too complicated to copy these files with syncthing, I’ll just transfer them via USB…

Did you actually try?
The simple (and right) thing to do is to assume Syncthing will just sync them, because that’s what it is designed for (and it is what it will do). If you want to understand “how it works”, start by reading the docs (especially this:

And what is “it” that I’m supposed to try? I have clicked the “Rescan” button on the phone’s folder but it’s not picking up on the skipped files.

Well, that you have Syncthing running and made sure it did a rescan was the information that was missing - it wasn’t clear that you have done that (at least to me). If your mobile is send-only and your server send-receive and they are connected (as in the web UI), then they should be transferred. Look at the logs and/or the files that aren’t transferred to see if there is anything out of the ordinary.

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