2. Installation

Syncany is written in pure Java, so it available on a number of platforms. To make the installation process as easy as possible, we’ve pre-bundled distributables for most major operating systems (a Mac OSX bundle is still missing, see open issues). Whenever we release a new version of Syncany, we regenerate these bundles and publish them on the distribution site.

On that site, you can find releases and snapshots. Releases are built and published in a certain release cycle (currently: 2 weeks), and snapshots are built with every commit. Feel free to try out both, but be aware that snapshots are very volatile and things might break without warning.

As of today, we provide the following download possibilities:

  • Windows installer (.exe)
  • Ubuntu/Debian APT archive (or .deb package)
  • Arch Linux AUR
  • Mac OS X (.app.zip package, or via Homebrew)
  • Docker Application
  • Manual Installation (via .tar.gz/.zip)

2.1. Installation requirements

Since Syncany heavily relies on Java, you obviously need an up-to-date version of Java installed. And that is about it. No other requirements.

  • Java/JRE >= 7. See Oracle Website Downloads to install Java. Be sure to load the 64-bit JVM if you intend to load the 64 bit Syncany or the gui plugin will not run.
  • bash-completion >= 2 (Linux only). If it’s not installed by default, it’s definitely in the default packages.

2.2. Installing the latest release

2.2.1. Windows

On Windows, you can either manually extract the Syncany files from the ZIP archive, or use the installer. The latter is obviously more comfortable, but both variants have their reasons.

The installation using the Windows installer is easy and very similar to the installation of other applications.

  1. Download the latest release from the distribution site (see folder releases). The installer files have the .exe ending. You can’t miss it.
  2. Then run the executable and follow the instructions.
  3. After the installation, open the command prompt and type sy.

When you run the executable, you’ll see a typical installer that looks something like that:


Other than where to install Syncany, the installer will only give you two additional options. If you are not sure what they mean, don’t change them.

  • Add Syncany to PATH environment variable (recommended): If you’re unsure, leave this as is. For Syncany to be available on the command line, the command line will have to know where to look for it. If this option is unchecked, the sy command will not be available unless the installation path is added to the PATH environment variable.
  • Set JAVA_HOME environment variable (recommended): If you’re unsure, leave this as is. Syncany relies on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and this variable tells the Syncany commands where to look for it.

After the installation is complete, open the command prompt by typing cmd in the Windows search box, or by navigating to Extras, Command Prompt in the menu. If everything goes well, you’ll see this after typing sy -v:


2.2.2. Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint

For Debian-based systems, we provide an APT archive (for installation via apt-get) as well as a way to manually download and install prebuilt .deb-packages (see distribution site).

Installing via APT archive:

  1. Add the APT archive http://archive.syncany.org/apt/release/ to your additional software sources (this might ask you to confirm the Syncany public key as a trusted key).
  2. Once that is done, you can now update the package archives by sudo apt-get update, and install Syncany with sudo apt-get install syncany.
  3. After the installation, open the terminal and type sy.

Again, for the command line lovers:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys A3002F0613D342687D70AEEE3F6B7F13651D12BD
sudo sh -c "echo deb http://archive.syncany.org/apt/release/ release main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/syncany.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install syncany
sy -v

Installing via a .deb-package:

  1. Download the latest release Debian package from the distribution site (see folder releases).
  2. Double-click the .deb-package and click “Install”, or type sudo dpkg -i syncany_<version>.deb from the command line.
  3. After the installation, open the terminal and type sy.

If you’re more of a command line guy, simply do this:

wget https://syncany.org/latest.deb
sudo dpkg -i syncany-latest.deb
sy -v

2.2.3. Arch Linux

Arch Linux users can use the syncany package available on the AUR to install Syncany. An AUR helper like yaourt could help with this:

yaourt -S syncany

2.2.4. Mac OS X

For Mac OS X, there are currently two ways of installation:

Homebrew notes: Since Syncany is still alpha software, it cannot be installed from the official Homebrew sources. Therefore we provide the needed formula on our own until we reach beta. The command above installs the most recent (pre-)release. If you want to install the bleeding edge version simply append --HEAD to the previous command.

If you like the Syncany daemon to start at system startup, install the provided LaunchAgent following Homebrew instructions.

2.2.5. Docker

If you just want to try Syncany for a few minutes, we provide it as a containerized Docker application for Syncany. If you’ve installed Docker already, you can use the syncany/release repository.

docker pull syncany/release
docker run -ti syncany/release
syncany@e52be0b2522b:~$ sy -v

2.2.6. Manual Installation (for other operating systems)

If your operating system isn’t listed above, or if you just want to install Syncany manually for some other reason, simply download either the .zip or the .tar.gz archive from the distribution site (see folder releases). Then extract the archive and run Syncany and/or the daemon from the bin/ folder. This is the exact same process on every major operating system:

  1. Download the latest archive from the distribution site (see folder releases)
  2. Extract the archive and run bin/sy to run the Syncany command line tool

If you’d like to use Syncany from there, but without having to always type the entire path to run it, you may want to place the Syncany bin/ folder in the system’s PATH environment variable. This will let your system know where to look for the sy command. It’s easy to find out how to do that, but just in case:

2.3. Installing the latest snapshot

In addition to the releases, we also provide snapshot versions of Syncany. Snapshots are bundles that reflect the cutting edge state of development. They are created for every single commit in our versioning system, so updates come very frequently – sometimes up to dozens of times per day. Unless you’d like to test a new feature before everyone else or you are asked by a developer to install that version, it is highly discouraged. Things might break. They might be incompatible to previous versions. Or it might not work at all.

If you’re sure you want to install a snapshot, the process is very similar to the steps above. The only thing that differs is the file or access channel where you get the installer/package.

2.4. Installing from source

Syncany hosts its code on GitHub, so if you want to compile Syncany from source, you definitely can – and we encourage you to do so. Since this is a user manual, however, we don’t want to go into too much detail about the build process. There are details about building available on the Wiki page.

In short, run this:

git clone http://github.com/syncany/syncany
cd syncany
./gradlew installApp         (on Linux / Mac OS)
gradlew installApp           (on Windows)

This compiles and installs the Syncany command line client to syncany-cli/build/install/syncany/bin/syncany. You can run it from there.