July 11, 2016 · linux tutorial

Installing Syncthing on Ubuntu Touch

2016-07-21 EDIT: add screenshot of web ui

A quick tutorial on getting Syncthing up and running
on Ubuntu Touch, without needing r/w on system.

  1. Access the terminal on the device, using either SSH, the terminal app, or
    adb shell.

  2. Download and extract the tarball for arm64 (or another arch, depending on
    your device - I set it up on the M10 which is 64bit). The following sequence
    of commands will be pretty much what needs doing:

    # I like a separate dir for storing downloaded programs
    mkdir apps
    # download (note: you could download through the browser - same result)
    cd Downloads
    VERSION="0.13.10" # set this to the version you want to install
    wget https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing/releases/download/v${VERSION}/syncthing-linux-arm64-v${VERSION}.tar.gz
    # extract to the apps dir
    tar xzf syncthing-linux-arm64-v${VERSION}.tar.gz -C ~/apps/
    # rename for neatness
    cd ~/apps
    mv syncthing-linux-arm64-v${VERSION} syncthing
    # now, the tarball is still in ~/Downloads,
    # and the syncthing files are in ~/apps/syncthing
  3. Now you can run syncthing by executing ~/apps/syncthing/syncthing.
    (You can symlink it to somewhere on your path for easier access if you want.)
    You'll probably want it to start automatically though - in that case create
    ~/.config/upstart/syncthing.conf with the following contents
    (ref. this askubuntu answer):

    description "run syncthing on startup"
    author "Your Name"
    start on started unity8-dash
    exec /home/phablet/apps/syncthing/syncthing
  4. It should now start automatically when you login to your device. You can now
    check the status of the upstart service with $ status syncthing, and control
    Syncthing through it's web ui at

screenshot of syncthing web ui in the ubuntu touch browser
Syncthing web ui running locally on the tablet

Beware that since this is a service that is running constantly and performing a
lot of disk operations and using the network, it could chew through the battery
quicker than expected...