Building Syncthing

Note

You probably only need to go through the build process if you are going to do development on Syncthing or if you need to do a special packaging of it. For all other purposes we recommend using the official binary releases instead.

Note

Syncthing uses Go modules, which is a fairly new development in the Go ecosystem. You can find more information about modules here. If you are not a seasoned Go developer you can just go with the flow as this is the new thing.

Branches and Tags

You should base your work on the master branch when doing your development. This branch is usually what will be going into the next release and always what pull requests should be based on.

If you’re looking to build and package a release of Syncthing you should instead use the latest tag (vX.Y.Z) as the contents of master may be unstable and unsuitable for general consumption.

Prerequisites

  • The latest stable version of Go. Earlier releases may work, but we recommend always using the latest stable version. At the time of writing this is Go 1.13.

  • Git

If you’re not already a Go developer, the easiest way to get going is to download the latest version of Go as instructed in https://golang.org/doc/install.

Note

Becase Syncthing uses Go modules you do not need to set or care about “GOPATH”. However, the GOPATH still defaults to ~/go and you’d be best of not putting your Syncthing source in there, for now.

Building (Unix)

  • Install the prerequisites.

  • Open a terminal.

  • Run the commands below.

# This should output "go version go1.12" or higher.
$ go version

# Pick a place for your Syncthing source.
$ mkdir -p ~/dev
$ cd ~/dev

# Grab the code.
$ git clone https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing.git

# Now we have the source. Time to build!
$ cd syncthing

# You should be inside ~/dev/syncthing right now.
$ go run build.go

Unless something goes wrong, you will have a syncthing binary built and ready in ~/dev/syncthing/bin.

Building (Windows)

  • Install the prerequisites.

  • Open a cmd Window.

  • Run the commands below.

# This should output "go version go1.12" or higher.
> go version

# Pick a place for your Syncthing source.
> mkdir %USERPROFILE%\dev
> cd %USERPROFILE%\dev

# Grab the code.
> git clone https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing.git

# Now we have the source. Time to build!
> cd syncthing
> go run build.go

Unless something goes wrong, you will have a syncthing.exe binary built and ready in %USERPROFILE%\dev\syncthing\bin.

Subcommands and Options

The following build.go subcommands and options exist.

go run build.go install

Installs binaries in ./bin (default command, this is what happens when build.go is run without any commands or parameters).

go run build.go build

Builds just the named target, or syncthing by default, to the current directory. Use this when cross compiling, with parameters for what to cross compile to: go run build.go -goos linux -goarch 386 build.

go run build.go test

Runs the tests.

go run build.go tar

Creates a Syncthing tar.gz dist file in the current directory. Assumes a Unixy build.

go run build.go zip

Creates a Syncthing zip dist file in the current directory. Assumes a Windows build.

The options -no-upgrade, -goos and -goarch can be given to influence build, tar and zip. Examples:

go run build.go -goos linux -goarch 386 tar

Builds a tar.gz distribution of Syncthing for linux-386.

go run build.go -goos windows -no-upgrade zip

Builds a zip distribution of Syncthing for Windows (current architecture) with upgrading disabled.

Building without Git

Syncthing can be built perfectly fine from a source tarball of course. If the tarball is from our build server it contains a file called RELEASE that informs the build system of the version being built. If you’re building from a different source package, for example one automatically generated by Github, you must instead pass the -version flag to build.go.

If you are building something that will be installed as a package (Debian, RPM, …) you almost certainly want to use -no-upgrade as well to prevent the built in upgrade system from being activated.

Note

If you do not have git installed at all, or lack Internet access and want to use the bundled (vendored) modules, set the environment variable GOFLAGS=-mod=vendor prior to running build.go.

go run build.go -version v0.10.26 -no-upgrade tar

Builds a tar.gz distribution of Syncthing for the current OS/arch, tagged as v0.10.26, with upgrades disabled.