How to run BitTorrent Sync as service on Raspberry Pi

As you may know, Raspberry Pi is quite good at long-running services and applications for its low power consumption.

Thanks to that, it can be your personal 24/7 working cloud storage with BitTorrent Sync, and this post is about how that can be achieved.

1. Download the binary of BitTorrent Sync

Download btsync_arm.tar.gz from here and extract btsync from it.

$ tar -xzvf btsync_arm.tar.gz

2. Create a config file

Create a sample config file,

$ ./btsync --dump-sample-config > btsync.conf

and edit configurations as you need: device_name, storage_path, login, and password

	"device_name": "My Raspberry Pi + BTSync Server",
	"listening_port" : 0,	// 0 - randomize port

	/* storage_path dir contains auxilliary app files
	if no storage_path field: .sync dir created in the directory
	where binary is located.
	otherwise user-defined directory will be used
	"storage_path" : "/mnt/my_data/.sync",

	// uncomment next line if you want to set location of pid file
	// "pid_file" : "/var/run/btsync/",

	"check_for_updates" : true, 
	"use_upnp" : true,	// use UPnP for port mapping

	/* limits in kB/s
	0 - no limit
	"download_limit" : 0,                       
	"upload_limit" : 0, 

	/* remove "listen" field to disable WebUI
	remove "login" and "password" fields to disable credentials check
	"webui" :
		"listen" : "",
		"login" : "USERNAME",
		"password" : "PASSWORD"

	/* !!! if you set shared folders in config file WebUI will be DISABLED !!!
	shared directories specified in config file
	override the folders previously added from WebUI.
	"shared_folders" :
			//  use --generate-secret in command line to create new secret
			"secret" : "MY_SECRET_1",                   // * required field
			"dir" : "/home/user/bittorrent/sync_test", // * required field

			//  use relay server when direct connection fails
			"use_relay_server" : true,
			"use_tracker" : true, 
			"use_dht" : false,
			"search_lan" : true,
			//  enable SyncArchive to store files deleted on remote devices
			"use_sync_trash" : true,
			//  restore modified files to original version, ONLY for Read-Only folders
			//    "overwrite_changes" : false, 
			//  specify hosts to attempt connection without additional search
			"known_hosts" :

	// Advanced preferences can be added to config file.
	// Info is available in BitTorrent Sync User Guide.

3. Register BitTorrent Sync as a service

A. For init.d

a. Create an init.d script

Create a file with following content:

or download from here.

b. Edit the init.d script

$ vi btsync-service

Then replace BTSYNC_DIR and BTSYNC_CONFIG with the locations of yours.

c. Register it as service

$ sudo cp btsync-service /etc/init.d/
$ sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/btsync-service

# if you want it to start automatically on each boot,
$ sudo update-rc.d btsync-service defaults

d. Run BitTorrent Sync

# start,
$ sudo service btsync-service start

# or stop the service
$ sudo service btsync-service stop

B. For systemd

a. Create a service file

Create a file,

$ sudo vi /lib/systemd/system/btsync.service

and fill it with following content:

Description=BitTorrent Sync Service

ExecStart=BTSYNC_DIR/btsync --config BTSYNC_CONF_DIR/btsync.conf --nodaemon



b. Enable it

$ sudo systemctl enable btsync.service

Now you can start it with sudo systemctl start btsync.service and stop it with sudo systemctl stop btsync.service.

C. Test

While BitTorrent Sync service is running, you can connect to the web UI through:


with the username(login) and password you set in the config file.

4. Trouble Shooting

X. It doesn’t work!

If anything goes wrong or doesn’t work as you expected, try executing the binary directly:

$ btsync --config /filepath/of/btsync.conf

then you’ll see the reason in the error message.

X. It crashes my Raspberry Pi!

If you see smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0: eth0: kevent 2 may have been dropped in your kernel logs, or your Raspberry Pi stops working on heavy traffic, try these:

  • append smsc95xx.turbo_mode=N on your /boot/cmdline.txt

  • add or edit /etc/sysctl.conf following:

#vm.vfs_cache_pressure = 100
vm.vfs_cache_pressure = 300
#vm.min_free_kbytes = 8192
vm.min_free_kbytes = 32768