Resilio Sync Setup for FreeNAS (legacy)

Intended Audience

This post may be of interest if you are setting up Resilio Sync on a legacy version of FreeNAS (version 11.1 or earlier). A refresh of this post, which uses Resilio Sync under more modern versions of FreeNAS (version 11.2 or later) can be found here.


  1. The guide is suitable for a small business or home network that doesn’t use a domain controller for authenticated access.
  2. Windows PCs are predominantly in use on the network.
  3. The reader has a working knowledge of FreeNAS.
  4. The Resilio Sync plugin has been installed on the FreeNAS server. Version 2.5.9 is the highest version of the plugin available on legacy FreeNAS.


The aim of this post is to set up an automated backup of key user data from various devices such as phones, tablets and desktops into a central repository on a FreeNAS server. The repository should be readable to personnel responsible for recovering data for users. but should not be accessible to anyone else. This approach will serve to strengthen the privacy of each individuals’ data.

Resilio Sync was chosen as the backup tool as the client is available across numerous platforms and there is also a FreeNAS plugin for the server component. At the time of writing this, I am working with FreeNAS 9.10.2-U2 and  Resilio Sync plugin 2.4.4.

Step 1: Create the group and user btync.

It is critical that btsync has a UID and GID of 817.


Step 2: Create the dataset backup.

As we want the dataset to be managed from Windows, ensure the share type is Windows.


Step 3: Assign btsync ownership of backup.


Step 4: Create the Windows backup share.


Step 5: Adjust permissions on the Windows share.

If you have problems with this step, please review the post Administrator Access to Windows Shares in FreeNAS.

Share permissions of backup when first viewed from Windows:


If you want to allow users to restore their own data, refer to this post and then skip to step 6. If one or a few nominated individuals are responsible for restoring user data, continue with step 5.

Adjust share permissions such that key personnel (in this case belonging to the group btsync_ro) responsible for restoring user data are the only ones that have read access to backup. Also, allow the administrator to have full access to the share.


Step 6: Add storage to the Resilio Sync plugin.


Step 7: Start the Resilio Sync plugin on the server and set up defaults

Note: You may need to restart the jail prior to starting the plugin.

On entering Resilio Sync for the first time, you will be prompted to set up an account and a sync name for the sync server. The default sync name is resilio. For ease of identification between sync server and clients, I like to use an appliance identifier.

Edit: Since rebuilding my Resilio backups, recognising that I have a client-server backup arrangement using Resilio, I’ve resorted to the sync name ‘resilio’ across all devices.



Once you’re past the prompts, you will be presented with the Resilio Sync Web UI. From Options (the gear icon in the top right corner), select Preferences.


Change the preference for the Default folder location to /media.


Step 8: Install client software.

Time to set up the client software. Several examples follow.

  1. Resilio Sync Setup for Android 4+ Clients (legacy)
  2. Resilio Sync Setup for IOS 8+ Clients (legacy)
  3. Resilio Sync Setup for Windows 7+ Clients (legacy)
  4. Resilio Sync Setup for OS X 10.8+ Clients (legacy)

Want your users to recover their own data? Check out Advanced Resilio Sync Setup for FreeNAS (legacy).


  1. Resilio Sync
  2. Sync Hacks: How to Set Up FreeNAS with Resilio Sync (BitTorrent Sync) Using a Plugin.
  3. Giving Plugins Write Permissions to Your Data
  4. BTSync Plugin Permission issue
  5. Configuring Authenticated Access Without a Domain Controller

Revision History

  1. Use sync name resilio across all devices (170619)
  2. Add link to OS X client setup (170621)

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