Secure ShellFish and Syncthing: my very own dropbox replacement

finally, I think I came to a good solution to have my data in sync, available on all my devices and under my control. turns out, it’s super easy! I want to take control over my files, I want to decide where I store them and I also want to have it either in sync across all my devices or at least easily accessible (on my phone). last but not least, I want the solution to be cross-platform or platform agnostic since I don’t know when and if I switch from a to b.

that’s kinda hard to achieve with Dropbox or Google Drive, which either have a bad or no Linux support at all. also, when you’re on iOS like me, it’s hard to not go with a solution like iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive since there’s just no good alternative out there…

well, Secure ShellFish to the rescue! to be honest, the only thing which blocked me from having my own solution until now was iOS. since there’s just no way to use a tool like Syncthing on iOS and ownCloud/Nextcloud just suck don’t fit my needs. they come up with one security issue after another and behave more like an operating system instead of what I want: a folder that’s syncs. dead simple. granted, ownCloud and Nextcloud probably want to be an operating system, so good for them.

Secure ShellFish integrates into the iOS files app and uses the SFTP protocol to connect to a server. it’s easy as 1 2 3: you have a server available through SSH, this can be at home, exposed to the internet, just internal or a server online somewhere. a dedicated server or a virtual (cloud) server. do what you want. have fun.

I have it set up like this:

  • a cloud server with a block volume attached
  • encrypted block volume with LUKS
  • installed Syncthing on the server, pointed it to some directory on the encrypted volume
  • configured Syncthing on my desktop to sync the folder with my server
  • configured SFTP / ssh access from Secure ShellFish to the Syncthing backed folder on the server

that’s it. easy as that.

sure, when using a virtual server with the encrypted volume it doesn’t really help as long as the volume is mounted since the provider can still log in to your machine and see the data. I think you’d need to go with a dedicated server then or have something at home like a raspberry pi or Synology/QNAP NAS.

Secure ShellFish can also store files offline if you want to, I just don’t know how reliable that is, yet.

I’m sure I like this solution right now but do something else tomorrow. syncing files and taking notes are just things I always find something to over-engineer improve upon.


466 Words

2019-12-24 00:00 +0000