Turning on encryption on an existing folder.


I’ve just found:

I’ve been trying to figure out how a friend and I could be “backup buddies” and offsite each others data to our home servers and with privacy. This sounds ideal!

I was wondering what would happen if I were to turn on encryption on an existing folder. Would it do the right thing?


No. At the very least the folder needs to be removed on the receiving side, and unshared on the sending side. Restart the sending side before setting up encryption towards the receiving side. Hopefully this should clear out enough data to make it work, but probably noone tried this maneuver yet.



I wonder if it would be worth documenting this in the above link?

Probably, or making it smoother to begin with.


And don’t forget that Syncthing is not a backup tool. However, under the right circumstances, it can be one part of a backup soloution.


I knew someone would point that out :stuck_out_tongue:

I use restic for some of my backups, but it’s not always a good fit. Syncthing’s node discovery is a real boon.

One idea I’ve had is to sync (using syncthing) a restic repo itself, but that means you need extra disk space locally for the repo.


Isn’t it better to have three copies anyway - the live data, an on-site backup, and an off-site backup?

Three copies are better than two! But if you have a lot of data, disk space could get expensive.

I’ve said this before and I’m not precisely impartial, but I copy data using Syncthing to a couple of differently located filers that use zfs and periodic snapshots. This has been my backup strategy for literally decades (though using rsync in the pre-Syncthing days) and it’s been adequate so far. Syncthing is not a backup tool, but can be a component in a backup solution. When used with care. I’m currently experimenting with making some of this use encrypted folders. There are pros and cons to that obviously, the cons being in the monitoring and restoration parts of the story…


True, but that’s also a common reason people don’t do backups at all. What I’m noting is that you could look at it not as a disadvantage but as enforcing best practices. :smiley:

The thing is, it seems to me like even tools like restic are components, rather than the whole story. The odd thing about Syncthing is how many people seem to think it’s the only piece they need. Maybe it’s because the commercial sync services tend to encourage people thinking they’re good for backups?

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Best practices? I struggle to get the people in my life to even make a second copy of their data on a USB thumb drive :laughing: By that standard, syncthing would be the creme de la creme!


Well, yes, but the solution you were talking about already involved a restic repository, so I’m guessing those aren’t the people running that…

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