How to start Syncthing on Debian boot

Syncthing is a great, open-source, decentralized file sync application available for a wide range of platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, OpenBSD...)

Installation on Debian / Ubuntu is simple and well documented on the following page: http://apt.syncthing.net/

There is also great documentation for installing and configuring Synthing here: http://docs.syncthing.net/intro/getting-started.html

There is one thing that the current documentation does not cover, and that is how to start Syncthing on boot with init.d, here's how:

Add the startup script

$ sudo vi /etc/init.d/syncthing

Copy and paste the following code into the file:

#! /bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides:          syncthing
# Required-Start:    $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop:     $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: Controls Syncthing execution
# Description:       Used for starting the decentralized syncthing platform
### END INIT INFO

# Author: Liam <cuonic@cuonic.com>
#
# Please remove the "Author" lines above and replace them
# with your own name if you copy and modify this script.

# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
PATH=/sbin:/usr/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin
DESC="Syncthing decentralized file sync platform"
NAME=syncthing
DAEMON=/usr/bin/$NAME
DAEMON_ARGS=""
PIDFILE=/var/run/$NAME.pid
SCRIPTNAME=/etc/init.d/$NAME
USER=cuonic

# Exit if the package is not installed
[ -x "$DAEMON" ] || exit 0

# Read configuration variable file if it is present
[ -r /etc/default/$NAME ] && . /etc/default/$NAME

# Load the VERBOSE setting and other rcS variables
. /lib/init/vars.sh

# Define LSB log_* functions.
# Depend on lsb-base (>= 3.2-14) to ensure that this file is present
# and status_of_proc is working.
. /lib/lsb/init-functions

#
# Function that starts the daemon/service
#
do_start()
{
    # Return
    #   0 if daemon has been started
    #   1 if daemon was already running
    #   2 if daemon could not be started
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --exec $DAEMON --chuid $USER --background --test > /dev/null \
        || return 1
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --exec $DAEMON --chuid $USER --background -- \
        $DAEMON_ARGS \
        || return 2
}

#
# Function that stops the daemon/service
#
do_stop()
{
    # Return
    #   0 if daemon has been stopped
    #   1 if daemon was already stopped
    #   2 if daemon could not be stopped
    #   other if a failure occurred
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --retry=TERM/30/KILL/5 --pidfile $PIDFILE --chuid $USER --name $NAME
    RETVAL="$?"
    [ "$RETVAL" = 2 ] && return 2
    # Wait for children to finish too if this is a daemon that forks
    # and if the daemon is only ever run from this initscript.
    # If the above conditions are not satisfied then add some other code
    # that waits for the process to drop all resources that could be
    # needed by services started subsequently.  A last resort is to
    # sleep for some time.
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --oknodo --retry=0/30/KILL/5 --chuid $USER --exec $DAEMON
    [ "$?" = 2 ] && return 2
    # Many daemons don't delete their pidfiles when they exit.
    rm -f $PIDFILE
    return "$RETVAL"
}

#
# Function that sends a SIGHUP to the daemon/service
#
do_reload() {
    #
    # If the daemon can reload its configuration without
    # restarting (for example, when it is sent a SIGHUP),
    # then implement that here.
    #
    start-stop-daemon --stop --signal 1 --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --chuid $USER --name $NAME
    return 0
}

case "$1" in
  start)
    [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_daemon_msg "Starting $DESC" "$NAME"
    do_start
    case "$?" in
        0|1) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 0 ;;
        2) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 1 ;;
    esac
    ;;
  stop)
    [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_daemon_msg "Stopping $DESC" "$NAME"
    do_stop
    case "$?" in
        0|1) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 0 ;;
        2) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 1 ;;
    esac
    ;;
  status)
    status_of_proc "$DAEMON" "$NAME" && exit 0 || exit $?
    ;;
  #reload|force-reload)
    #
    # If do_reload() is not implemented then leave this commented out
    # and leave 'force-reload' as an alias for 'restart'.
    #
    #log_daemon_msg "Reloading $DESC" "$NAME"
    #do_reload
    #log_end_msg $?
    #;;
  restart|force-reload)
    #
    # If the "reload" option is implemented then remove the
    # 'force-reload' alias
    #
    log_daemon_msg "Restarting $DESC" "$NAME"
    do_stop
    case "$?" in
      0|1)
        do_start
        case "$?" in
            0) log_end_msg 0 ;;
            1) log_end_msg 1 ;; # Old process is still running
            *) log_end_msg 1 ;; # Failed to start
        esac
        ;;
      *)
        # Failed to stop
        log_end_msg 1
        ;;
    esac
    ;;
  *)
    #echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|restart|reload|force-reload}" >&2
    echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status|restart|force-reload}" >&2
    exit 3
    ;;
esac

:

Change the following line: USER=cuonic to whatever username you want the script to run as.

Make the script executable

$ sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/syncthing

Tell init.d to execute the script to startup

$ sudo update-rc.d syncthing defaults

Check it all works

$ sudo service syncthing start
$ ps -aux | grep syncthing

cuonic    3523  0.0  0.1 257376 12164 ?        Sl   11:15   0:00 /usr/bin/syncthing
cuonic    3527 12.2  2.6 890636 218552 ?       Sl   11:15   1:03 /usr/bin/syncthing
cuonic    3651  0.0  0.0  11788  2240 pts/0    S+   11:24   0:00 grep --colour=auto syncthing

That's it !