Syncthing is good in so many ways, but not for non-techncal mac users. Our company has around 100 staff, all of whom are required to use a mac. Syncthing has been our company way to sync files for over a year. However, of the list of 300 devices+ in my list, only 1 actually is syncing. None uses it. Instead they email files to each other, or use non-official tools like dropbox.
Firstly, the majority of users do not know what a terminal is, and don’t know how to use the command line. Nor should they. They don’t have, nor ever will have brew, and most are remote so we cant set it up for them. They are marketing people, sales people, admin staff, finance, designers etc. Most are relatively new to macs also.
I have been tasked with getting everyone using it again. I find that most people had had it installed by an IT staff member, but soon after never run it again. The main reasons are:
- they had it installed for them, but they forgot know how to start it, and its not possible for them to get it to autostart. They cant find it in launchpad.
- they got a new machine, and don’t know how to install it.
- They hated it because they are used to the “install and forget” simplicity of dropbox, onedrive etc.
What we need is:
- A simple installer dmg, either the standard mac package, or something you drag into applications. This means any of our staff can instal it themselves.
- an uninstall option which also deletes all the config files. (a complete uninstall) so that users can start again when it all goes wrong or when they are not longer part of the team.
- the installer must set up the process to auto-start, or at least have this an an option in the UI.
- re-launching the application should re-open a syncthing web UI tab, not just fail because its already running. The is a significant problem, users close the browser, and dont know how to get syncthing to run again (they dont realise and/or forget you need to enter a special URL with a nonstandard port - its not something they have ever had to do)
I see there is a github project to address this: https://xor-gate.github.io/syncthing-macosx/ . I applaud this, but we cant use it for the reasons:
- We dont know if the source has been tampered with. The official version at least has had many people looking at it and presumably pull requests are well scrutinised.
- The company owner has specified we can only use the official release.
- The unofficial version may not receive support in the future.
To sum up, I am hoping that the syncthing team strongly consider a proper mac installer, and hope that such an installer would not be too much work.