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Revision as of 17:08, 8 November 2009 by Pointone (talk | contribs) (Substantial cleanup; more complex examples should be left to Google/man pages)
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rsync is an open source utility that provides fast incremental file transfer.


# pacman -S rsync


As a cp alternative

rsync can readily be used as an advanced cp alternative, specifically useful for copying larger files:

$ rsync -P src dest

The Template:Codeline option is the same as Template:Codeline, which keeps partially transferred files and shows a progress bar during transfer.

As a backup utility

The rsync protocol can easily be used for backups, only transferring files that have changed since the last backup. This tutorial describes how to configure scheduled backups using rsync, typically to some removable media.

First, create a script containing the appropriate command options:

Note: For the sake of this example, the script is created in the Template:Filename directory, and will be run once daily if a cron daemon is installed and properly configured. Configuring/using cron is outside the scope of this article.


means files are archived
means files are copied recursively
means files deleted on the source are deleted on the backup

Here, Template:Filename should to be changed to what needs to be backed-up (Template:Filename, for example) and Template:Filename is where the backup should be saved (Template:Filename, for example).

If backing-up to a remote host using SSH, use this script instead:


tells rsync to use SSH
is the user on the host Template:Codeline

Finally, the script must be executable:

# chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/rsync.backup

For more examples, search Google for 'rsync backup script' or search the Community Contributions and General Programming Forum forums.