Syncthing ships with a set of default values designed to work well for most users under common circumstances. However, there are a number of configuration options that can be tweaked to improve performance or to reduce resource consumption. This article makes recommendations, but you will need to experiment to find the best settings for your particular setup.
Tuning for High Performance¶
You have resources to spare and want to optimize for performance. First some general options:
Set to -1 to disable progress updates. Time spent on progress updates is time not spent on syncing.
Set to false to run Syncthing with normal priority. This may allow Syncthing to use more CPU time, which can improve performance.
Find an appropriate setting for the number of folders to sync concurrently, taking into account the inherent concurrency of the underlying storage system. If two folders are on the same underlying spinning disk, syncing them concurrently will be a strict loss of performance. If the underlying storage is a large array of disk, then syncing many folders concurrently may be beneficial.
large. Regardless of the size of the actual database, this increases a number of buffers and settings to optimize for higher throughput.
This sets the maximum amount of data being processed (loaded from disk and transmitted over the network) concurrently at any given time. This is a global limited, not per folder. If you have a lot of folders and/or a lot of devices and memory to spare you may want to increase this value. The default is 256 MiB, consider values of 1024 MiB or more.
These options are folder specific and should be set on each folder:
When possible, using filesystem notifications avoids unnecessary I/O in large periodic scans. Changes are detected faster using notifications than scans.
The number of routines used for the copy stage of file syncing. Similar to other concurrency options, if there are a lot of files to sync and if the I/O system can handle it it you may see increased performance by increasing this value. The default is system dependent, somewhere between 1 and the number of CPU cores available.
When hashing locally changed files, the number of hashing routines to use. Higher values mean more I/O and CPU load and may increase performance when there are a lot of files to hash, assuming I/O bandwidth and CPU are available. The default is system dependent, somewhere between 1 and the number of CPU cores available.
The maximum amount of data to have outstanding requests for at any given time. Higher values may improve performance, especially if the network or I/O latency is high. The default is 32 MiB.
Providing the GUI with scan progress updates is not very expensive, but is effort that could be spent on something more productive. If you don’t need to see scan progress, set this to -1 to disable it.
Syncthing will by default look for rolling (weak) hash matches to detect data shifted in a file if a lot of data has changed in the file. If your use case doesn’t cause data to shift in a file, and if the files are large (movies, VM images, …) it is unnecessary to spend time checking weak hashes. Set the threshold to 101% to disable use of weak hashes.
Synchting limits the number of outstanding write system calls at any given time to avoid overloading the I/O system. If you increased copiers, outstanding network requests, or other settings that increase the number of concurrent writes, you may need to increase this value. The default is 2.
fsync()on files and directories after syncing them to ensure they are safe and sound on stable storage. This is a good thing, but it can be expensive. If you have a lot of files to sync and/or a lot of I/O bandwidth available, you may see a performance increase by disabling
fsync(). This is not recommended for most setups, as you are increasing the risk of data loss in case of a power outage or system crash.
Syncthing by default uses a pseudo-random block order when pulling in order to distribute load over multiple devices better. If you are generally downloading files from only one device, and if you have spinning disks as the underlying storage, you may see a performance increase by setting this to
If your underlying filesystem supports it, you may see a performance increase by enabling a copy-on-write method, as it reduces the amount od data actually copied on disk when syncing files.
If your underlying filesystem is case sensitive, you may see a performance increase by enabling this option. This disables a number of safety checks that are required for case insensitive filesystems, and can cause data loss if your underlying filesystem is not in fact case sensitive.
Use these if they are required for your use case, but keep in mind they have a fairly high performance cost.
GOGC: These environment variables can be used to control the garbage collector. For large setups, setting
GOMEMLIMITto the desired max amount of memory Syncthing should use can improve performance. The reason is that this reduces garbage collector frequency during lower memory usage. Read more in the Go GC guide.
Tuning for Low Resources¶
You have limited resources and want Syncthing to use as few as possible. You care less about performance.
Set to -1 to disable progress updates. Progress updates aren’t absolutely essential and consume some amount of CPU and memory.
Set to 1 to sync folders sequentially, reducing the peak memory usage.
small. Regardless of the size of the actual database size, this reduces the size of a number of buffers to optimize for reduced memory usage.
Set to 32 MiB to reduce the amount of memory used for buffering responses to incoming requests.
If possible, using the filesystem notifications is more efficient than doing full periodic scans.
Set to 16 MiB to reduce the amount of memory used for buffering while syncing.
Set to -1 to disable scan progress updates. Keeping track of scan progress uses memory and CPU.
Set to 101% to disable use of weak hashes. Using weak hashes has a memory cost.
If your underlying filesystem supports it, using copyrange is more efficient than having Syncthing do the data copying.
If your underlying filesystem is case sensitive, set this to skip a number of checks which have a memory cost due to caching. These checks are required for case insensitive filesystems, and disabling them can cause data loss if your underlying filesystem is not in fact case sensitive.
These environment variables can be used to control the garbage collector. For small setups, setting
GOMEMLIMITto the desired max amount of memory Syncthing should use can make the garbage collector adhere more closely to the desired limit. Read more in the Go GC guide.
This environment variable can be used to control the maximum number number concurrently running threads Syncthing uses. Setting it to 1 (or any number lower than your actual number of cores) will reduce the amount of CPU used by Syncthing at any given moment.