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sy-watch(1) General Commands Manual sy-watch(1)


sy-watch - monitor local Syncany folder and automatically sync changes


sy watch [-i | --interval=<sec>] [-s | --delay=<sec>] [-W | --no-watcher] [-a | --announce=<host>:<port>] [-N | --no-announcements] [<status-options> | <up-options> | <down-options>]


Automatically synchronizes the local folder with the repository. The command performs the up and down command in an interval, watches the file system for changes and subscribes to the Syncany pub/sub server.

In the default configuration (no options), the command subscribes to the Syncany pub/sub server and registers local file system watches in the locally synced folder (and all of its subfolders). When local events are registered, the command waits a few seconds (waiting for settlement) and then triggers the ´up´ command. After the upload has finished, a message is published to the pub/sub server, telling other clients of this repo that there is new data. Clients subscribed to the repository´s channel will receive this notification and immediately perform a ´down´ command. This mechanism allows instant synchronization among clients even if a dumb storage server (such as FTP) is used.

In case file system events or pub/sub notifications are missed, the periodic synchronization using the ´down´ and ´up´ command is implemented as a fallback.

Note: The messages exchanged through the pub/sub server do not include any confidential data. They only include the repository identifier (randomly generated in the ´init´ phase), and a client identifier (randomly generated on every restart).


-s, --delay=<sec>
Waits for <sec> seconds for file system watcher to settle before starting to index newly added files. If many file system actions are executed (e.g. copying a large folder), waiting a few seconds ensures that actions belonging together are uploaded in a single new database version. Default value is 3 seconds.

-W, --no-watcher

Disables folder watcher entirely. Local changes in the synced folder (and its subfolders) will not be registered right away. Instead, local changes will only be detected by the periodic synchronization loop. Unless other clients have also set this option, changes by other clients will still be detected through the pub/sub server. If -W is set, the -i/--interval option becomes more relevant as local synchronization entirely relies on the interval.

-a, --announce=<host>:<port>

Defines the hostname and the port of the pub/sub server. The pub/sub server is used to notify other clients if the local client uploaded new data, and to get notified if other clients did so. Default is the central Syncany pub/sub server at The SparkleShare pub/sub server can be used interchangeably. To set up your own server, install a fanout instance from

-N, --no-announcements

Disables the pub/sub server entirely. Syncany will not connect to the server and changes that are published to the pub/sub server are not detected. Instead, remote changes will only be detected by the periodic synchronization loop. If -N is set, the -i/--interval option becomes more relevant as remote synchronization entirely relies on the interval.

-i, --interval=<sec>

Sets the synchronization interval of the periodic ´down´/´up´ loop to be run every <sec> seconds. The sync loop is a fallback only and is not relevant if the pub/sub server and the file system watching is enabled. Default value is 120 seconds.

In addition to these options, all arguments of the commands ´status´, ´ls-remote´, ´up´ and ´down´ can be used.


Syncany 0.4.9-alpha, Distributed under GPLv3, Copyright (c) 2011-2015 Philipp C. Heckel