Setup Your Personal Cloud with Raspberry Pi and Resilio Sync

We keep on uploading our private data (photos, videos, documents etc) to different cloud service providers like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and then they finally start charging us for our own data. Of course, they are providing us with the storage, still they are in control of our private data and don’t forget the never ending recurring cost of the service.

Here are few simple steps to set-up your own personal cloud at a very minimum one-time cost.

If you love the DIY stuff and are ready for few terminal commands, then keep on reading and your personal cloud will be setup in no time.

Things you will need to start off with the project:

  1. A Raspberry Pi
  2. A Micro USB charger for Pi
  3. An SD card (to install the OS for Pi)
  4. An External Drive (this will store your cloud media)
  5. An Ethernet cable or WiFi adapter (completely your preference)
  6. A Keyboard, Mouse and HDMI based display (only for the first-time setup)

Once you have all the components ready, we are good to go. Let’s start with the basic stuff, setting up OS on our Raspberry Pi.

1. Setting up Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi

If you are a seasoned pro, you can simply skip this step and continue to step 2. And for others, let’s get started.

Tools you will need to set-up OS on your Raspberry pi:

  1. GParted – A free utility to format your SD card with the FAT32 format in Linux, Mac or Windows. If you are a Mac user, I would suggest you go with inbuilt “Disk Utility” feature.
  2. Etcher – To burn the image to your SD card, available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. This is only required if you have opted to download the Raspbian Jessie with Pixel image.
  3. Any of your favorite torrent client or you can use the direct .zip download link (will be a lot slower than torrent).

One you have downloaded these utilities, now its time to download the Raspbian “Jessie” with Pixel image or NOOBS, if you want a more easy way out. You can simply download the images through direct download links or your favorite torrent client can take care of that.

Here are the simple steps to install Raspbian using Jessie image:

  • Insert the SD card into your SD card reader. Take a note of the drive letter assigned to the SD card.
  • Open GParted utility and format your SD card in the FAT32 file system.
  • Open Etcher, select the downloaded Jessie image, select the drive using the letter assigned (e.g. E:) and click on Flash.

Once this is done, your SD is ready with Raspbian OS. Alternatively, if you have downloaded NOOBS, follow the first 2 steps, and then simply extract all the contents of the downloaded zip file and copy it to your SD card.

Now you have to simply insert the SD card in your Raspberry Pi. At this point, you need to connect all the peripherals to your Raspberry Pi, including keyboard, mouse, your display through HDMI cable and also connect your Pi to your network either by using Ethernet cable or WiFi adapter. Now power on your Raspberry Pi device by connecting it to Micro USB charger. If you have installed the Raspbian Jessie image, you will be directly taken to the desktop once your Pi finishes booting up. But if you are using NOOBS, the OS install screen will be displayed. Simply select the OS “Raspbian” by clicking on it and click on Install(I). The OS installation will take place and then your Pi will boot up with the newly installed OS.


Pixel Boot Screen



Pixel Desktop with Terminal


Congratulations! You have successfully installed Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi.


2. Installing Resilio Sync to Raspberry Pi

You have to make sure that your Raspberry Pi is connected to the network using Ethernet cable or WiFi adapter. Then fire up the terminal through the icon on the Taskbar.

Step 1: Create a file to add Resilio repository.

Firstly we will create a file called “resilio-sync.list”.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/resilio-sync.list

Now we will add the following content to the file to register Resilio repository:

echo "deb resilio-sync non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/resilio-sync.list

Step 2: Add PGP public key for package verification

Now add the public key using any of the two commands.

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -


curl -LO && sudo apt-key add ./key.asc

Add armhf architecture package and update the source.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture armhf

sudo apt-get update

Open “/etc/apt/sources.list” file.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

In the text editor, change the line as follows.

deb [arch=armhf] resilio-sync non-free

Step 3: Install Resilio Sync

Now we will update the package list and install Resilio Sync.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install resilio-sync

This will install Resilio Sync on your Raspberry Pi.

Step 4: Setup automatic startup of Resilio Sync

We will enable the sync service automatic startup as user rslsync:

sudo systemctl enable resilio-sync

We will also enable the sync service as the current user. We will open the “resilio-sync.service” file.

sudo nano /usr/lib/systemd/user/resilio-sync.service

We will change the following codes. 

Now simply save and close the file.

Now enable the resilio-sync service.

systemctl --user enable resilio-sync

This will start the Resilio Sync as a service called “resilio-sync”.  Also, the service has been set to autostart every time your Raspberry Pi boots up.

Step 5: Accessing the Resilio Sync through web GUI

Resilio Sync is now up and running on your Raspberry Pi. You can access the web GUI through your browser:

[YOUR IP ADDRESS]:8888/gui

Here are few useful commands to manage “resilio-sync” service through the terminal on your Raspberry Pi:

Start “resilio-sync” Service:

sudo service resilio-sync start

Stop “resilio-sync” service:

sudo service resilio-sync stop

Reload “resilio-sync” service:

sudo service resilio-sync restart

Check the status of “resilio-sync” service:

sudo service resilio-sync status

Great! Resilio Sync is now up and running on your Raspberry Pi device. You can now download the Desktop and Mobile clients. [Download here]


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