Raspberry Preserve – A BitTorrent Sync Client In A Mason Jar

[Matt Reed] used a few off-the-shelf parts and built a Raspberry-Pi based BitTorrent Sync client to help backup files. What makes it stand out is the idea of using a Mason Jar as the enclosure and the nice build finish. Mason Jars have long been used to preserve food. [Matt] wanted to use the Mason Jar to help preserve family memories.

Basically, he just stuffed a Raspberry Pi inside a jar with some LED’s and put BitTorrent Sync on it. He started off with a nice, square piece of wood and mounted the lid on it. Holes were drilled to fix the four LED’s and faux crystal drawer pull knobs. The Pi was connected to power and Ethernet and the LED’s wired up. The software is quite straightforward – just install BitTorrent Sync on the Raspberry Pi. He wrote a Node.js script to constantly check if BitTorrent Sync is transferring any data, and if it is, blink the LED’s so it looks cool. If no data is being transferred, the LED’s just glow solid red. Once it is plugged into power and connected to the internet, any photo or video (or any file for that matter) that is put inside a special folder called “Preserve” on any of his devices, gets sync’ed and copied to the “Raspberry Preserve” – preserved for posterity.

17 thoughts on “Raspberry Preserve – A BitTorrent Sync Client In A Mason Jar

    1. Yep. It uses a torrent sort of architecture to keep files up to date across computers. As with conventional torrents, there’s no central server.
      If you’d prefer, there’s a new free/open source decentralized synchronizer called syncthing (https://syncthing.net/). Unlike Bittorrent Sync, it uses a custom protocol to transmit data. It’s a little more privacy/security focused, too.
      Both are good programs. And, just like with Dropbox or any of those other services, the synchronization happens in the background within a few minutes.

  1. If you’re going to build a web-connected backup appliance, at least use mirrored storage. This is just dumping everything onto however much space is left on that SD card after the OS…

  2. Why Bittorrent Sync ? (witch afaik is only useful to copy one files from MANY sources)
    Why not rsync, witch in this case may be much (, much, much, much) more efficient ?

  3. More of my concern is BTSync or SyncThing is not a backup, You delete it, and its gone, it gets corrupted on one device, and the corruption replicates. Do not get me wrong I use BTSync for my own tasks, but it is not the best thing for backup. I am also running backup tasks to allow me to maintain the data’s integrity.

  4. To all of the people commenting about heat: no.

    The Raspberry Pi’s SoC was designed for much more extreme situations without any fan, heatsink, or vents. It was designed to be used as a dedicated GPU for phones in much tighter spots that are air-sealed and next to other hot electronic components. You could even overclock the Pi in a mason jar and not have any issues regarding heat.

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