BitTorrent Sync on openSUSE

Recently, I discovered BitTorrent Sync, which seems to satisfy most of my file syncing demands. It’s encrypted client-side, cross-platform and works behind NATs and firewalls. While it is currently still proprietary (who cares, really), it is available for many devices. Besides the usual Windows / Mac binaries, you can find it on Android’s Play Store. Most interestingly, they provide ARM binaries. If you are a happy Synology NAS user, you can add the SynoCommunity package repository directly. That’s been the elevator pitch, check the community forums for more details.

Installation

First of all, you need to add Packman’s Essentials repository to install the btsync package. This is necessary due to the licensing terms of BitTorrent Sync, which don’t allow redistribution. Thus the btsync package will run a script (during installation) that downloads the btsync binary from BitTorrent servers (very much like the flash plugin installer on openSUSE). Either way, you’ll end up with btsync on your disk. For openSUSE Factory, the steps are (as root):

$ zypper ar http://packman.inode.at/suse/Factory/Essentials
$ zypper refresh
$ zypper install btsync

On recent openSUSE releases, systemd allows to start daemons as non-root users. Running btsync under your user rather than root avoids messing up file ownership and allows several people on the same machine to have their own distinct btsync configuration. So for the user saschpe (replace with your username), the commands are (as root):

$ systemctl start btsync@saschpe
$ systemctl enable btsync@saschpe

Configuration

To allow parallel usage for multiple users, the btsync daemon listens on port 8888 + $YOUR_USER_ID per default. So if your user’s UID (check /etc/passwd) is 1000, you can find btsync’s web interface at http://localhost:9888. This is how looks like:

btsync-web

The credentials can be found at $HOME/.btsync/sync.conf. The interesting part is the auto-generated password (which you could change), the username will match your Unix user account. However, you may also want to change the listen address to something different. So this is the config section you want to adjust:


...
"webui" :
{
"listen" : "0.0.0.0:9888",
"login" : "saschpe",
"password" : "supersecretpasswordhere"
}
...

Usage

Sharing folders and further setup can be done directly from the web interface, no need to mess with the config file again. Have fun.

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