ERROR says : Failed to create folder root directory mkdir /var/lib/syncthingsyncthingTEST: permission denied

I have been playing with syncthing but much to my disapointment it wont play with me. an error reports that “Failed to create folder root directory mkdir /var/lib/syncthingsyncthingTEST: permission denied”

having looked for help on syncthing’s forum I find that other such errors are blamed on the OS.

Please could someone tell me how one sets the correct permissions to resolve this.


ssh onto your FreedomBox and try the following commands:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/syncthing
sudo chmod 755 /var/lib/syncthing
sudo chown syncthing:syncthing /var/lib/syncthing

Excellent solution jdhedden. THANKS.

I needed to use the /var/lib/syncthingsyncthingTEST dir because that was the folder that was missing but otherwise exactly what you said was exactly what I needed.


The directory should’ve been /var/lib/syncthing/syncthingTEST (notice the additional /). It’s not really a permissions issue. Syncthing should be able to create directories under /var/lib/syncthing, but it doesn’t have the permissions to create directories under /var/lib.

This is my first FreedomBox setup so I’m doing all the exploring and trying to work out what it’s for.

I’m an average user and now you point it out I do see the / but I’ve only been working through the Freedombox gui so I don’t know how I broke except for changing the default folder and whatever else I did :stuck_out_tongue: so I bet I’m not the last to make this mistake.

My plan in the future is to point syncthing at an external drive and from this situation I suspect that at that point it will become a permission thing. Is that right?

Thanks for the help.

Syncthing doesn’t have external drive support yet. For now, you can only create directories under /var/lib/syncthing.

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