rsync(1) — Linux manual page

rsync(1)                        User Commands                       rsync(1)


NAME         top

       rsync - a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool


SYNOPSIS         top

       Local:
rsync [OPTION...] SRC... [DEST]

Access via remote shell:
Pull:
rsync [OPTION...] [USER@]HOST:SRC... [DEST]
Push:
rsync [OPTION...] SRC... [USER@]HOST:DEST

Access via rsync daemon:
Pull:
rsync [OPTION...] [USER@]HOST::SRC... [DEST]
rsync [OPTION...] rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/SRC... [DEST]
Push:
rsync [OPTION...] SRC... [USER@]HOST::DEST
rsync [OPTION...] SRC... rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/DEST)

Usages with just one SRC arg and no DEST arg will list the source


DESCRIPTION         top

       Rsync is a fast and extraordinarily versatile file copying tool.  It
can copy locally, to/from another host over any remote shell, or
to/from a remote rsync daemon.  It offers a large number of options
that control every aspect of its behavior and permit very flexible
specification of the set of files to be copied.  It is famous for its
delta-transfer algorithm, which reduces the amount of data sent over
the network by sending only the differences between the source files
and the existing files in the destination.  Rsync is widely used for
backups and mirroring and as an improved copy command for everyday
use.

Rsync finds files that need to be transferred using a "quick check"
algorithm (by default) that looks for files that have changed in size
or in last-modified time.  Any changes in the other preserved
attributes (as requested by options) are made on the destination file
directly when the quick check indicates that the file's data does not
need to be updated.

Some of the additional features of rsync are:

o      support for copying links, devices, owners, groups, and
permissions

o      exclude and exclude-from options similar to GNU tar

o      a CVS exclude mode for ignoring the same files that CVS would
ignore

o      can use any transparent remote shell, including ssh or rsh

o      does not require super-user privileges

o      pipelining of file transfers to minimize latency costs

o      support for anonymous or authenticated rsync daemons (ideal
for mirroring)


GENERAL         top

       Rsync copies files either to or from a remote host, or locally on the
current host (it does not support copying files between two remote
hosts).

There are two different ways for rsync to contact a remote system:
using a remote-shell program as the transport (such as ssh or rsh) or
contacting an rsync daemon directly via TCP.  The remote-shell
transport is used whenever the source or destination path contains a
single colon (:) separator after a host specification.  Contacting an
rsync daemon directly happens when the source or destination path
contains a double colon (::) separator after a host specification, OR
FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL CONNECTION" section for an exception to
this latter rule).

As a special case, if a single source arg is specified without a
destination, the files are listed in an output format similar to
"ls -l".

As expected, if neither the source or destination path specify a
option).

Rsync refers to the local side as the client and the remote side as
the server.  Don't confuse server with an rsync daemon.  A daemon is
always a server, but a server can be either a daemon or a remote-
shell spawned process.


SETUP         top

       See the file README.md for installation instructions.

Once installed, you can use rsync to any machine that you can access
via a remote shell (as well as some that you can access using the
rsync daemon-mode protocol).  For remote transfers, a modern rsync
uses ssh for its communications, but it may have been configured to
use a different remote shell by default, such as rsh or remsh.

You can also specify any remote shell you like, either by using the
-e command line option, or by setting the RSYNC_RSH environment
variable.

Note that rsync must be installed on both the source and destination
machines.


USAGE         top

       You use rsync in the same way you use rcp.  You must specify a source
and a destination, one of which may be remote.

Perhaps the best way to explain the syntax is with some examples:

rsync -t *.c foo:src/

This would transfer all files matching the pattern *.c from the
current directory to the directory src on the machine foo.  If any of
the files already exist on the remote system then the rsync remote-
update protocol is used to update the file by sending only the
differences in the data.  Note that the expansion of wildcards on the
command-line (*.c) into a list of files is handled by the shell
before it runs rsync and not by rsync itself (exactly the same as all
other Posix-style programs).

rsync -avz foo:src/bar /data/tmp

This would recursively transfer all files from the directory src/bar
on the machine foo into the /data/tmp/bar directory on the local
machine.  The files are transferred in archive mode, which ensures
that symbolic links, devices, attributes, permissions, ownerships,
etc. are preserved in the transfer.  Additionally, compression will
be used to reduce the size of data portions of the transfer.

rsync -avz foo:src/bar/ /data/tmp

A trailing slash on the source changes this behavior to avoid
creating an additional directory level at the destination.  You can
think of a trailing / on a source as meaning "copy the contents of
this directory" as opposed to "copy the directory by name", but in
both cases the attributes of the containing directory are transferred
to the containing directory on the destination.  In other words, each
of the following commands copies the files in the same way, including
their setting of the attributes of /dest/foo:

rsync -av /src/foo /dest
rsync -av /src/foo/ /dest/foo

Note also that host and module references don't require a trailing
slash to copy the contents of the default directory.  For example,
both of these copy the remote directory's contents into "/dest":

rsync -av host: /dest
rsync -av host::module /dest

You can also use rsync in local-only mode, where both the source and
destination don't have a ':' in the name.  In this case it behaves
like an improved copy command.

Finally, you can list all the (listable) modules available from a
particular rsync daemon by leaving off the module name:

rsync somehost.mydomain.com::

See the following section for more details.


       The syntax for requesting multiple files from a remote host is done
by specifying additional remote-host args in the same style as the
first, or with the hostname omitted.  For instance, all these work:

rsync -av host:file1 :file2 host:file{3,4} /dest/
rsync -av host::modname/file{1,2} host::modname/file3 /dest/
rsync -av host::modname/file1 ::modname/file{3,4}

Older versions of rsync required using quoted spaces in the SRC, like
these examples:

rsync -av host:'dir1/file1 dir2/file2' /dest
rsync host::'modname/dir1/file1 modname/dir2/file2' /dest

This word-splitting still works (by default) in the latest rsync, but
is not as easy to use as the first method.

If you need to transfer a filename that contains whitespace, you can
either specify the --protect-args (-s) option, or you'll need to
escape the whitespace in a way that the remote shell will understand.
For instance:

rsync -av host:'file\ name\ with\ spaces' /dest


CONNECTING TO AN RSYNC DAEMON         top

       It is also possible to use rsync without a remote shell as the
transport.  In this case you will directly connect to a remote rsync
daemon, typically using TCP port 873. (This obviously requires the
daemon to be running on the remote system, so refer to the STARTING
AN RSYNC DAEMON TO ACCEPT CONNECTIONS section below for information
on that.)

Using rsync in this way is the same as using it with a remote shell
except that:

o      you either use a double colon :: instead of a single colon to
separate the hostname from the path, or you use an rsync://
URL.

o      the first word of the "path" is actually a module name.

o      the remote daemon may print a message of the day when you
connect.

o      if you specify no path name on the remote daemon then the list
of accessible paths on the daemon will be shown.

o      if you specify no local destination then a listing of the
specified files on the remote daemon is provided.

o      you must not specify the --rsh (-e) option (since that
overrides the daemon connection to use ssh -- see USING RSYNC-
DAEMON FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL CONNECTION below).

An example that copies all the files in a remote module named "src":

rsync -av host::src /dest

Some modules on the remote daemon may require authentication.  If so,
you will receive a password prompt when you connect.  You can avoid
the password prompt by setting the environment variable
--password-file option.  This may be useful when scripting rsync.

WARNING: On some systems environment variables are visible to all
users.  On those systems using --password-file is recommended.

You may establish the connection via a web proxy by setting the
environment variable RSYNC_PROXY to a hostname:port pair pointing to
support proxy connections to port 873.

You may also establish a daemon connection using a program as a proxy
by setting the environment variable RSYNC_CONNECT_PROG to the
commands you wish to run in place of making a direct socket
connection.  The string may contain the escape "%H" to represent the
hostname specified in the rsync command (so use "%%" if you need a
single "%" in your string).  For example:

export RSYNC_CONNECT_PROG='ssh proxyhost nc %H 873'
rsync -av targethost1::module/src/ /dest/
rsync -av rsync://targethost2/module/src/ /dest/

The command specified above uses ssh to run nc (netcat) on a
proxyhost, which forwards all data to port 873 (the rsync daemon) on
the targethost (%H).

Note also that if the RSYNC_SHELL environment variable is set, that
program will be used to run the RSYNC_CONNECT_PROG command instead of
using the default shell of the system() call.


USING RSYNC-DAEMON FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL CONNECTION         top

       It is sometimes useful to use various features of an rsync daemon
(such as named modules) without actually allowing any new socket
connections into a system (other than what is already required to
allow remote-shell access).  Rsync supports connecting to a host
using a remote shell and then spawning a single-use "daemon" server
that expects to read its config file in the home dir of the remote
user.  This can be useful if you want to encrypt a daemon-style
transfer's data, but since the daemon is started up fresh by the
remote user, you may not be able to use features such as chroot or
change the uid used by the daemon. (For another way to encrypt a
daemon transfer, consider using ssh to tunnel a local port to a
remote machine and configure a normal rsync daemon on that remote
host to only allow connections from "localhost".)

From the user's perspective, a daemon transfer via a remote-shell
connection uses nearly the same command-line syntax as a normal
rsync-daemon transfer, with the only exception being that you must
explicitly set the remote shell program on the command-line with the
--rsh=COMMAND option. (Setting the RSYNC_RSH in the environment will
not turn on this functionality.) For example:

rsync -av --rsh=ssh host::module /dest

If you need to specify a different remote-shell user, keep in mind
that the user@ prefix in front of the host is specifying the rsync-
user value (for a module that requires user-based authentication).
This means that you must give the '-l user' option to ssh when
specifying the remote-shell, as in this example that uses the short
version of the --rsh option:

rsync -av -e "ssh -l ssh-user" rsync-user@host::module /dest

The "ssh-user" will be used at the ssh level; the "rsync-user" will
be used to log-in to the "module".


STARTING AN RSYNC DAEMON TO ACCEPT CONNECTIONS         top

       In order to connect to an rsync daemon, the remote system needs to
have a daemon already running (or it needs to have configured
something like inetd to spawn an rsync daemon for incoming
connections on a particular port).  For full information on how to
start a daemon that will handling incoming socket connections, see
the rsyncd.conf(5) man page -- that is the config file for the
daemon, and it contains the full details for how to run the daemon
(including stand-alone and inetd configurations).

If you're using one of the remote-shell transports for the transfer,
there is no need to manually start an rsync daemon.


SORTED TRANSFER ORDER         top

       Rsync always sorts the specified filenames into its internal transfer
list.  This handles the merging together of the contents of
identically named directories, makes it easy to remove duplicate
filenames, and may confuse someone when the files are transferred in
a different order than what was given on the command-line.

If you need a particular file to be transferred prior to another,
either separate the files into different rsync calls, or consider
using --delay-updates (which doesn't affect the sorted transfer
order, but does make the final file-updating phase happen much more
rapidly).


EXAMPLES         top

       Here are some examples of how I use rsync.

To backup my wife's home directory, which consists of large MS Word
files and mail folders, I use a cron job that runs

rsync -Cavz . arvidsjaur:backup

each night over a PPP connection to a duplicate directory on my
machine "arvidsjaur".

To synchronize my samba source trees I use the following Makefile
targets:

get:
rsync -avuzb --exclude '*~' samba:samba/ .
put:
rsync -Cavuzb . samba:samba/
sync: get put

This allows me to sync with a CVS directory at the other end of the
connection.  I then do CVS operations on the remote machine, which
saves a lot of time as the remote CVS protocol isn't very efficient.

I mirror a directory between my "old" and "new" ftp sites with the
command:

rsync -az -e ssh --delete ~ftp/pub/samba nimbus:"~ftp/pub/tridge"

This is launched from cron every few hours.


OPTION SUMMARY         top

       Here is a short summary of the options available in rsync.  Please
refer to the detailed description below for a complete description.

--verbose, -v            increase verbosity
--info=FLAGS             fine-grained informational verbosity
--debug=FLAGS            fine-grained debug verbosity
--stderr=e|a|c           change stderr output mode (default: errors)
--quiet, -q              suppress non-error messages
--no-motd                suppress daemon-mode MOTD
--checksum, -c           skip based on checksum, not mod-time & size
--archive, -a            archive mode; equals -rlptgoD (no -H,-A,-X)
--no-OPTION              turn off an implied OPTION (e.g. --no-D)
--recursive, -r          recurse into directories
--relative, -R           use relative path names
--no-implied-dirs        don't send implied dirs with --relative
--backup, -b             make backups (see --suffix & --backup-dir)
--backup-dir=DIR         make backups into hierarchy based in DIR
--suffix=SUFFIX          backup suffix (default ~ w/o --backup-dir)
--inplace                update destination files in-place
--append                 append data onto shorter files
--append-verify          --append w/old data in file checksum
--dirs, -d               transfer directories without recursing
--mkpath                 create the destination's path component
--perms, -p              preserve permissions
--executability, -E      preserve executability
--chmod=CHMOD            affect file and/or directory permissions
--acls, -A               preserve ACLs (implies --perms)
--xattrs, -X             preserve extended attributes
--owner, -o              preserve owner (super-user only)
--group, -g              preserve group
--devices                preserve device files (super-user only)
--specials               preserve special files
-D                       same as --devices --specials
--times, -t              preserve modification times
--atimes, -U             preserve access (use) times
--open-noatime           avoid changing the atime on opened files
--crtimes, -N            preserve create times (newness)
--omit-dir-times, -O     omit directories from --times
--fake-super             store/recover privileged attrs using xattrs
--sparse, -S             turn sequences of nulls into sparse blocks
--preallocate            allocate dest files before writing them
--write-devices          write to devices as files (implies --inplace)
--dry-run, -n            perform a trial run with no changes made
--whole-file, -W         copy files whole (w/o delta-xfer algorithm)
--checksum-choice=STR    choose the checksum algorithm (aka --cc)
--one-file-system, -x    don't cross filesystem boundaries
--block-size=SIZE, -B    force a fixed checksum block-size
--rsh=COMMAND, -e        specify the remote shell to use
--rsync-path=PROGRAM     specify the rsync to run on remote machine
--existing               skip creating new files on receiver
--ignore-existing        skip updating files that exist on receiver
--remove-source-files    sender removes synchronized files (non-dir)
--del                    an alias for --delete-during
--delete                 delete extraneous files from dest dirs
--delete-before          receiver deletes before xfer, not during
--delete-during          receiver deletes during the transfer
--delete-delay           find deletions during, delete after
--delete-after           receiver deletes after transfer, not during
--delete-excluded        also delete excluded files from dest dirs
--ignore-missing-args    ignore missing source args without error
--delete-missing-args    delete missing source args from destination
--ignore-errors          delete even if there are I/O errors
--force                  force deletion of dirs even if not empty
--max-delete=NUM         don't delete more than NUM files
--max-size=SIZE          don't transfer any file larger than SIZE
--min-size=SIZE          don't transfer any file smaller than SIZE
--max-alloc=SIZE         change a limit relating to memory alloc
--partial                keep partially transferred files
--partial-dir=DIR        put a partially transferred file into DIR
--delay-updates          put all updated files into place at end
--prune-empty-dirs, -m   prune empty directory chains from file-list
--numeric-ids            don't map uid/gid values by user/group name
--groupmap=STRING        custom groupname mapping
--timeout=SECONDS        set I/O timeout in seconds
--contimeout=SECONDS     set daemon connection timeout in seconds
--ignore-times, -I       don't skip files that match size and time
--size-only              skip files that match in size
--modify-window=NUM, -@  set the accuracy for mod-time comparisons
--temp-dir=DIR, -T       create temporary files in directory DIR
--fuzzy, -y              find similar file for basis if no dest file
--compare-dest=DIR       also compare destination files relative to DIR
--copy-dest=DIR          ... and include copies of unchanged files
--compress, -z           compress file data during the transfer
--compress-choice=STR    choose the compression algorithm (aka --zc)
--compress-level=NUM     explicitly set compression level (aka --zl)
--skip-compress=LIST     skip compressing files with suffix in LIST
--cvs-exclude, -C        auto-ignore files in the same way CVS does
--filter=RULE, -f        add a file-filtering RULE
-F                       same as --filter='dir-merge /.rsync-filter'
repeated: --filter='- .rsync-filter'
--exclude=PATTERN        exclude files matching PATTERN
--exclude-from=FILE      read exclude patterns from FILE
--include=PATTERN        don't exclude files matching PATTERN
--include-from=FILE      read include patterns from FILE
--files-from=FILE        read list of source-file names from FILE
--from0, -0              all *-from/filter files are delimited by 0s
--protect-args, -s       no space-splitting; wildcard chars only
--copy-as=USER[:GROUP]   specify user & optional group for the copy
--port=PORT              specify double-colon alternate port number
--sockopts=OPTIONS       specify custom TCP options
--blocking-io            use blocking I/O for the remote shell
--outbuf=N|L|B           set out buffering to None, Line, or Block
--stats                  give some file-transfer stats
--8-bit-output, -8       leave high-bit chars unescaped in output
--progress               show progress during transfer
-P                       same as --partial --progress
--itemize-changes, -i    output a change-summary for all updates
--remote-option=OPT, -M  send OPTION to the remote side only
--out-format=FORMAT      output updates using the specified FORMAT
--log-file=FILE          log what we're doing to the specified FILE
--log-file-format=FMT    log updates using the specified FMT
--early-input=FILE       use FILE for daemon's early exec input
--list-only              list the files instead of copying them
--bwlimit=RATE           limit socket I/O bandwidth
--stop-after=MINS        Stop rsync after MINS minutes have elapsed
--stop-at=y-m-dTh:m      Stop rsync at the specified point in time
--write-batch=FILE       write a batched update to FILE
--only-write-batch=FILE  like --write-batch but w/o updating dest
--protocol=NUM           force an older protocol version to be used
--iconv=CONVERT_SPEC     request charset conversion of filenames
--checksum-seed=NUM      set block/file checksum seed (advanced)
--ipv4, -4               prefer IPv4
--ipv6, -6               prefer IPv6
--version, -V            print the version + other info and exit
--help, -h (*)           show this help (* -h is help only on its own)

Rsync can also be run as a daemon, in which case the following
options are accepted:

--daemon                 run as an rsync daemon
--bwlimit=RATE           limit socket I/O bandwidth
--config=FILE            specify alternate rsyncd.conf file
--dparam=OVERRIDE, -M    override global daemon config parameter
--no-detach              do not detach from the parent
--port=PORT              listen on alternate port number
--log-file=FILE          override the "log file" setting
--log-file-format=FMT    override the "log format" setting
--sockopts=OPTIONS       specify custom TCP options
--verbose, -v            increase verbosity
--ipv4, -4               prefer IPv4
--ipv6, -6               prefer IPv6
--help, -h               show this help (when used with --daemon)


OPTIONS         top

       Rsync accepts both long (double-dash + word) and short (single-dash +
letter) options.  The full list of the available options are
described below.  If an option can be specified in more than one way,
the choices are comma-separated.  Some options only have a long
variant, not a short.  If the option takes a parameter, the parameter
is only listed after the long variant, even though it must also be
specified for the short.  When specifying a parameter, you can either
use the form --option=param or replace the '=' with whitespace.  The
parameter may need to be quoted in some manner for it to survive the
shell's command-line parsing.  Keep in mind that a leading tilde (~)
in a filename is substituted by your shell, so --option=~/foo will
not change the tilde into your home directory (remove the '=' for
that).

--help, -h (*)
Print a short help page describing the options available in
rsync and exit.  (*) The -h short option will only invoke
--help when used without other options since it normally means

--version, -V
Print the rsync version plus other info and exit.

The output includes the default list of checksum algorithms,
the default list of compression algorithms, a list of
compiled-in capabilities, a link to the rsync web site, and

--verbose, -v
This option increases the amount of information you are given
during the transfer.  By default, rsync works silently.  A
single -v will give you information about what files are being
transferred and a brief summary at the end.  Two -v options
will give you information on what files are being skipped and
options should only be used if you are debugging rsync.

In a modern rsync, the -v option is equivalent to the setting
of groups of --info and --debug options.  You can choose to
use these newer options in addition to, or in place of using
--verbose, as any fine-grained settings override the implied
settings of -v.  Both --info and --debug have a way to ask for
help that tells you exactly what flags are set for each
increase in verbosity.

However, do keep in mind that a daemon's "max verbosity"
setting will limit how high of a level the various individual
flags can be set on the daemon side.  For instance, if the max
is 2, then any info and/or debug flag that is set to a higher
value than what would be set by -vv will be downgraded to the
-vv level in the daemon's logging.

--info=FLAGS
This option lets you have fine-grained control over the
information output you want to see.  An individual flag name
may be followed by a level number, with 0 meaning to silence
that output, 1 being the default output level, and higher
numbers increasing the output of that flag (for those that
support higher levels).  Use --info=help to see all the
available flag names, what they output, and what flag names
are added for each increase in the verbose level.  Some
examples:

rsync -a --info=progress2 src/ dest/
rsync -avv --info=stats2,misc1,flist0 src/ dest/

Note that --info=name's output is affected by the --out-format
and --itemize-changes (-i) options.  See those options for

This option was added to 3.1.0, so an older rsync on the
server side might reject your attempts at fine-grained control
(if one or more flags needed to be send to the server and the
"max verbosity" caveat above when dealing with a daemon.

--debug=FLAGS
This option lets you have fine-grained control over the debug
output you want to see.  An individual flag name may be
followed by a level number, with 0 meaning to silence that
output, 1 being the default output level, and higher numbers
increasing the output of that flag (for those that support
higher levels).  Use --debug=help to see all the available
flag names, what they output, and what flag names are added
for each increase in the verbose level.  Some examples:

rsync -avvv --debug=none src/ dest/
rsync -avA --del --debug=del2,acl src/ dest/

Note that some debug messages will only be output when
--stderr=all is specified, especially those pertaining to I/O
and buffer debugging.

Beginning in 3.2.0, this option is no longer auto-forwarded to
the server side in order to allow you to specify different
debug values for each side of the transfer, as well as to
specify a new debug option that is only present in one of the
rsync versions.  If you want to duplicate the same option on
both sides, using brace expansion is an easy way to save you
some typing.  This works in zsh and bash:

rsync -aiv {-M,}--debug=del2 src/ dest/

--stderr=errors|all|client
This option controls which processes output to stderr and if
info messages are also changed to stderr.  The mode strings
can be abbreviated, so feel free to use a single letter value.
The 3 possible choices are:

o      errors - (the default) causes all the rsync processes
to send an error directly to stderr, even if the
process is on the remote side of the transfer.  Info
messages are sent to the client side via the protocol
stream.  If stderr is not available (i.e. when directly
connecting with a daemon via a socket) errors fall back
to being sent via the protocol stream.

o      all - causes all rsync messages (info and error) to get
written directly to stderr from all (possible)
processes.  This causes stderr to become line-buffered
(instead of raw) and eliminates the ability to divide
up the info and error messages by file handle.  For
those doing debugging or using several levels of
verbosity, this option can help to avoid clogging up
the transfer stream (which should prevent any chance of
a deadlock bug hanging things up).  It also enables the
outputting of some I/O related debug messages.

o      client - causes all rsync messages to be sent to the
client side via the protocol stream.  One client
process outputs all messages, with errors on stderr and
info messages on stdout.  This was the default in older
rsync versions, but can cause error delays when a lot
of transfer data is ahead of the messages.  If you're
pushing files to an older rsync, you may want to use
--stderr=all since that idiom has been around for
several releases.

This option was added in rsync 3.2.3.  This version also began
the forwarding of a non-default setting to the remote side,
though rsync uses the backward-compatible options
--msgs2stderr and --no-msgs2stderr to represent the all and
client settings, respectively.  A newer rsync will continue to
accept these older option names to maintain compatibility.

--quiet, -q
This option decreases the amount of information you are given
during the transfer, notably suppressing information messages
from the remote server.  This option is useful when invoking
rsync from cron.

--no-motd
This option affects the information that is output by the
client at the start of a daemon transfer.  This suppresses the
message-of-the-day (MOTD) text, but it also affects the list
of modules that the daemon sends in response to the "rsync
host::" request (due to a limitation in the rsync protocol),
so omit this option if you want to request the list of modules
from the daemon.

--ignore-times, -I
Normally rsync will skip any files that are already the same
size and have the same modification timestamp.  This option
turns off this "quick check" behavior, causing all files to be
updated.

--size-only
This modifies rsync's "quick check" algorithm for finding
files that need to be transferred, changing it from the
default of transferring files with either a changed size or a
changed last-modified time to just looking for files that have
changed in size.  This is useful when starting to use rsync
after using another mirroring system which may not preserve
timestamps exactly.

--modify-window=NUM, -@
When comparing two timestamps, rsync treats the timestamps as
being equal if they differ by no more than the modify-window
value.  The default is 0, which matches just integer seconds.
If you specify a negative value (and the receiver is at least
version 3.1.3) then nanoseconds will also be taken into
account.  Specifying 1 is useful for copies to/from MS Windows
FAT filesystems, because FAT represents times with a 2-second
resolution (allowing times to differ from the original by up
to 1 second).

If you want all your transfers to default to comparing
nanoseconds, you can create a ~/.popt file and put these lines
in it:

rsync alias -a -a@-1
rsync alias -t -t@-1

With that as the default, you'd need to specify --modify-
window=0 (aka -@0) to override it and ignore nanoseconds, e.g.
if you're copying between ext3 and ext4, or if the receiving
rsync is older than 3.1.3.

--checksum, -c
This changes the way rsync checks if the files have been
changed and are in need of a transfer.  Without this option,
rsync uses a "quick check" that (by default) checks if each
file's size and time of last modification match between the
sender and receiver.  This option changes this to compare a
128-bit checksum for each file that has a matching size.
Generating the checksums means that both sides will expend a
lot of disk I/O reading all the data in the files in the
transfer, so this can slow things down significantly (and this
is prior to any reading that will be done to transfer changed
files)

The sending side generates its checksums while it is doing the
file-system scan that builds the list of the available files.
The receiver generates its checksums when it is scanning for
changed files, and will checksum any file that has the same
size as the corresponding sender's file: files with either a
changed size or a changed checksum are selected for transfer.

Note that rsync always verifies that each transferred file was
correctly reconstructed on the receiving side by checking a
whole-file checksum that is generated as the file is
transferred, but that automatic after-the-transfer
verification has nothing to do with this option's before-the-
transfer "Does this file need to be updated?" check.

The checksum used is auto-negotiated between the client and
the server, but can be overridden using either the --checksum-
choice (--cc) option or an environment variable that is
discussed in that option's section.

--archive, -a
This is equivalent to -rlptgoD.  It is a quick way of saying
you want recursion and want to preserve almost everything
(with -H being a notable omission).  The only exception to the
above equivalence is when --files-from is specified, in which
case -r is not implied.

Note that -a does not preserve hardlinks, because finding
multiply-linked files is expensive.  You must separately
specify -H.

--no-OPTION
You may turn off one or more implied options by prefixing the
option name with "no-".  Not all options may be prefixed with
a "no-": only options that are implied by other options (e.g.
--no-D, --no-perms) or have different defaults in various
circumstances (e.g. --no-whole-file, --no-blocking-io, --no-
dirs).  You may specify either the short or the long option
name after the "no-" prefix (e.g. --no-R is the same as --no-
relative).

For example: if you want to use -a (--archive) but don't want
-o (--owner), instead of converting -a into -rlptgD, you could
specify -a --no-o (or -a --no-owner).

The order of the options is important: if you specify --no-
r -a, the -r option would end up being turned on, the opposite
of -a --no-r.  Note also that the side-effects of the --files-
from option are NOT positional, as it affects the default
state of several options and slightly changes the meaning of
-a (see the --files-from option for more details).

--recursive, -r
--dirs (-d).

Beginning with rsync 3.0.0, the recursive algorithm used is
now an incremental scan that uses much less memory than before
and begins the transfer after the scanning of the first few
directories have been completed.  This incremental scan only
affects our recursion algorithm, and does not change a non-
recursive transfer.  It is also only possible when both ends
of the transfer are at least version 3.0.0.

Some options require rsync to know the full file list, so
these options disable the incremental recursion mode.  These
include: --delete-before, --delete-after, --prune-empty-dirs,
and --delay-updates.  Because of this, the default delete mode
when you specify --delete is now --delete-during when both
ends of the connection are at least 3.0.0 (use --del or
--delete-during to request this improved deletion mode
better choice than using --delete-after.

Incremental recursion can be disabled using the --no-inc-
recursive option or its shorter --no-i-r alias.

--relative, -R
Use relative paths.  This means that the full path names
specified on the command line are sent to the server rather
than just the last parts of the filenames.  This is
particularly useful when you want to send several different
directories at the same time.  For example, if you used this
command:

rsync -av /foo/bar/baz.c remote:/tmp/

would create a file named baz.c in /tmp/ on the remote

rsync -avR /foo/bar/baz.c remote:/tmp/

then a file named /tmp/foo/bar/baz.c would be created on the
remote machine, preserving its full path.  These extra path
elements are called "implied directories" (i.e. the "foo" and
the "foo/bar" directories in the above example).

Beginning with rsync 3.0.0, rsync always sends these implied
directories as real directories in the file list, even if a
path element is really a symlink on the sending side.  This
prevents some really unexpected behaviors when copying the
full path of a file that you didn't realize had a symlink in
its path.  If you want to duplicate a server-side symlink,
include both the symlink via its path, and referent directory
via its real path.  If you're dealing with an older rsync on
the sending side, you may need to use the --no-implied-dirs
option.

It is also possible to limit the amount of path information
that is sent as implied directories for each path you specify.
With a modern rsync on the sending side (beginning with
2.6.7), you can insert a dot and a slash into the source path,
like this:

rsync -avR /foo/./bar/baz.c remote:/tmp/

That would create /tmp/bar/baz.c on the remote machine. (Note
that the dot must be followed by a slash, so "/foo/." would
not be abbreviated.) For older rsync versions, you would need
to use a chdir to limit the source path.  For example, when
pushing files:

(cd /foo; rsync -avR bar/baz.c remote:/tmp/)

(Note that the parens put the two commands into a sub-shell,
so that the "cd" command doesn't remain in effect for future
commands.) If you're pulling files from an older rsync, use
this idiom (but only for a non-daemon transfer):

rsync -avR --rsync-path="cd /foo; rsync" \
remote:bar/baz.c /tmp/

--no-implied-dirs
This option affects the default behavior of the --relative
option.  When it is specified, the attributes of the implied
directories from the source names are not included in the
transfer.  This means that the corresponding path elements on
the destination system are left unchanged if they exist, and
any missing implied directories are created with default
attributes.  This even allows these implied path elements to
have big differences, such as being a symlink to a directory
on the receiving side.

For instance, if a command-line arg or a files-from entry told
rsync to transfer the file "path/foo/file", the directories
"path" and "path/foo" are implied when --relative is used.  If
"path/foo" is a symlink to "bar" on the destination system,
the receiving rsync would ordinarily delete "path/foo",
recreate it as a directory, and receive the file into the new
directory.  With --no-implied-dirs, the receiving rsync
updates "path/foo/file" using the existing path elements,
which means that the file ends up being created in "path/bar".
Another way to accomplish this link preservation is to use the
directories in the rest of the transfer).

When pulling files from an rsync older than 3.0.0, you may
need to use this option if the sending side has a symlink in
the path you request and you wish the implied directories to
be transferred as normal directories.

--backup, -b
With this option, preexisting destination files are renamed as
each file is transferred or deleted.  You can control where
the backup file goes and what (if any) suffix gets appended
using the --backup-dir and --suffix options.

Note that if you don't specify --backup-dir, (1) the --omit-
dir-times option will be forced on, and (2) if --delete is
also in effect (without --delete-excluded), rsync will add a
"protect" filter-rule for the backup suffix to the end of all
your existing excludes (e.g. -f "P *~").  This will prevent
previously backed-up files from being deleted.  Note that if
you are supplying your own filter rules, you may need to
manually insert your own exclude/protect rule somewhere higher
up in the list so that it has a high enough priority to be
effective (e.g., if your rules specify a trailing
inclusion/exclusion of *, the auto-added rule would never be
reached).

--backup-dir=DIR
This implies the --backup option, and tells rsync to store all
backups in the specified directory on the receiving side.
This can be used for incremental backups.  You can
additionally specify a backup suffix using the --suffix option
(otherwise the files backed up in the specified directory will
keep their original filenames).

Note that if you specify a relative path, the backup directory
will be relative to the destination directory, so you probably
want to specify either an absolute path or a path that starts
with "../".  If an rsync daemon is the receiver, the backup
dir cannot go outside the module's path hierarchy, so take
extra care not to delete it or copy into it.

--suffix=SUFFIX
This option allows you to override the default backup suffix
used with the --backup (-b) option.  The default suffix is a ~
if no --backup-dir was specified, otherwise it is an empty
string.

--update, -u
This forces rsync to skip any files which exist on the
destination and have a modified time that is newer than the
source file. (If an existing destination file has a
modification time equal to the source file's, it will be
updated if the sizes are different.)

Note that this does not affect the copying of dirs, symlinks,
or other special files.  Also, a difference of file format
between the sender and receiver is always considered to be
important enough for an update, no matter what date is on the
objects.  In other words, if the source has a directory where
the destination has a file, the transfer would occur
regardless of the timestamps.

This option is a transfer rule, not an exclude, so it doesn't
affect the data that goes into the file-lists, and thus it
doesn't affect deletions.  It just limits the files that the

--inplace
This option changes how rsync transfers a file when its data
needs to be updated: instead of the default method of creating
a new copy of the file and moving it into place when it is
complete, rsync instead writes the updated data directly to
the destination file.

This has several effects:

o      Hard links are not broken.  This means the new data
will be visible through other hard links to the
destination file.  Moreover, attempts to copy differing
source files onto a multiply-linked destination file
will result in a "tug of war" with the destination data
changing back and forth.

o      In-use binaries cannot be updated (either the OS will
prevent this from happening, or binaries that attempt
to swap-in their data will misbehave or crash).

o      The file's data will be in an inconsistent state during
the transfer and will be left that way if the transfer
is interrupted or if an update fails.

o      A file that rsync cannot write to cannot be updated.
While a super user can update any file, a normal user
needs to be granted write permission for the open of
the file for writing to be successful.

o      The efficiency of rsync's delta-transfer algorithm may
be reduced if some data in the destination file is
overwritten before it can be copied to a position later
in the file.  This does not apply if you use --backup,
since rsync is smart enough to use the backup file as
the basis file for the transfer.

WARNING: you should not use this option to update files that
are being accessed by others, so be careful when choosing to
use this for a copy.

This option is useful for transferring large files with block-
based changes or appended data, and also on systems that are
disk bound, not network bound.  It can also help keep a copy-
on-write filesystem snapshot from diverging the entire
contents of a file that only has minor changes.

The option implies --partial (since an interrupted transfer
does not delete the file), but conflicts with --partial-dir
and --delay-updates.  Prior to rsync 2.6.4 --inplace was also

--append
This special copy mode only works to efficiently update files
that are known to be growing larger where any existing content
on the receiving side is also known to be the same as the
content on the sender.  The use of --append can be dangerous
if you aren't 100% sure that all the files in the transfer are
shared, growing files.  You should thus use filter rules to
ensure that you weed out any files that do not fit this
criteria.

Rsync updates these growing file in-place without verifying
any of the existing content in the file (it only verifies the
content that it is appending).  Rsync skips any files that
exist on the receiving side that are not shorter than the
associated file on the sending side (which means that new
files are trasnferred).

This does not interfere with the updating of a file's non-
content attributes (e.g.  permissions, ownership, etc.) when
the file does not need to be transferred, nor does it affect
the updating of any directories or non-regular files.

--append-verify
This special copy mode works like --append except that all the
data in the file is included in the checksum verification
(making it much less efficient but also potentially safer).
This option can be dangerous if you aren't 100% sure that all
the files in the transfer are shared, growing files.  See the
--append option for more details.

Note: prior to rsync 3.0.0, the --append option worked like
--append-verify, so if you are interacting with an older rsync
(or the transfer is using a protocol prior to 30), specifying
either append option will initiate an --append-verify
transfer.

--dirs, -d
Tell the sending side to include any directories that are
encountered.  Unlike --recursive, a directory's contents are
not copied unless the directory name specified is "." or ends
with a trailing slash (e.g. ".", "dir/.", "dir/", etc.).
Without this option or the --recursive option, rsync will skip
all directories it encounters (and output a message to that
effect for each one).  If you specify both --dirs and
--recursive, --recursive takes precedence.

The --dirs option is implied by the --files-from option or the
--list-only option (including an implied --list-only usage) if
--recursive wasn't specified (so that directories are seen in
the listing).  Specify --no-dirs (or --no-d) if you want to
turn this off.

There is also a backward-compatibility helper option, --old-
dirs (or --old-d) that tells rsync to use a hack of
-r --exclude='/*/*' to get an older rsync to list a single
directory without recursing.

--mkpath
Create a missing path component of the destination arg.  This
allows rsync to create multiple levels of missing destination
dirs and to create a path in which to put a single renamed
file.  Keep in mind that you'll need to supply a trailing
slash if you want the entire destination path to be treated as
a directory when copying a single arg (making rsync behave the
same way that it would if the path component of the

For example, the following creates a copy of file foo as bar
in the sub/dir directory, creating dirs "sub" and "sub/dir" if
either do not yet exist:

rsync -ai --mkpath foo sub/dir/bar

If you instead ran the following, it would have created file
foo in the sub/dir/bar directory:

rsync -ai --mkpath foo sub/dir/bar/

destination.

When symlinks are encountered, the item that they point to
(the referent) is copied, rather than the symlink.  In older
versions of rsync, this option also had the side-effect of
symlinks to directories.  In a modern rsync such as this one,
you'll need to specify --keep-dirlinks (-K) to get this extra
behavior.  The only exception is when sending files to an
rsync that is too old to understand -K -- in that case, the -L
option will still have the side-effect of -K on that older
receiving rsync.

This tells rsync to copy the referent of symbolic links that
point outside the copied tree.  Absolute symlinks are also
treated like ordinary files, and so are any symlinks in the
source path itself when --relative is used.  This option has

Note that the cut-off point is the top of the transfer, which
is the part of the path that rsync isn't mentioning in the
verbose output.  If you copy "/src/subdir" to "/dest/" then
the "subdir" directory is a name inside the transfer tree, not
the top of the transfer (which is /src) so it is legal for
created relative symlinks to refer to other names inside the
/src and /dest directories.  If you instead copy
"/src/subdir/" (with a trailing slash) to "/dest/subdir" that
would not allow symlinks to any files outside of "subdir".

This tells rsync to ignore any symbolic links which point
outside the copied tree.  All absolute symlinks are also
ignored. Using this option in conjunction with --relative may
give unexpected results.

This option tells rsync to (1) modify all symlinks on the
receiving side in a way that makes them unusable but
recoverable (see below), or (2) to unmunge symlinks on the
sending side that had been stored in a munged state.  This is
useful if you don't quite trust the source of the data to not
try to slip in a symlink to a unexpected place.

The way rsync disables the use of symlinks is to prefix each
one with the string "/rsyncd-munged/".  This prevents the
links from being used as long as that directory does not
exist.  When this option is enabled, rsync will refuse to run
if that path is a directory or a symlink to a directory.

The option only affects the client side of the transfer, so if
you need it to affect the server, specify it via --remote-
option. (Note that in a local transfer, the client side is the
sender.)

This option has no affect on a daemon, since the daemon
configures whether it wants munged symlinks via its
perl script in the support directory of the source code.

This option causes the sending side to treat a symlink to a
directory as though it were a real directory.  This is useful
if you don't want symlinks to non-directories to be affected,
as they would be using --copy-links.

Without this option, if the sending side has replaced a
directory with a symlink to a directory, the receiving side
will delete anything that is in the way of the new symlink,
including a directory hierarchy (as long as --force or
--delete is in effect).

receiving side.

a trick you can use is to pass them as additional source args
with a trailing slash, using --relative to make the paths
match up right.  For example:

rsync -r --relative src/./ src/./follow-me/ dest/

This works because rsync calls lstat(2) on the source arg as
given, and the trailing slash makes lstat(2) follow the
symlink, giving rise to a directory in the file-list which
overrides the symlink found during the scan of "src/./".

This option causes the receiving side to treat a symlink to a
directory as though it were a real directory, but only if it
matches a real directory from the sender.  Without this
with a real directory.

For example, suppose you transfer a directory "foo" that
contains a file "file", but "foo" is a symlink to directory
deletes symlink "foo", recreates it as a directory, and
receives the file into the new directory.  With --keep-
"bar".

One note of caution: if you use --keep-dirlinks, you must
trust all the symlinks in the copy! If it is possible for an
untrusted user to create their own symlink to any directory,
the user could then (on a subsequent copy) replace the symlink
with a real directory and affect the content of whatever
directory the symlink references.  For backup copies, you are
better off using something like a bind mount instead of a

sending side.

This tells rsync to look for hard-linked files in the source
and link together the corresponding files on the destination.
Without this option, hard-linked files in the source are
treated as though they were separate files.

This option does NOT necessarily ensure that the pattern of
hard links on the destination exactly matches that on the
source.  Cases in which the destination may end up with extra

o      If the destination contains extraneous hard-links (more
linking than what is present in the source file list),
the copying algorithm will not break them explicitly.
However, if one or more of the paths have content
differences, the normal file-update process will break
those extra links (unless you are using the --inplace
option).

o      If you specify a --link-dest directory that contains
against the --link-dest files can cause some paths in
the destination to become linked together due to the

Note that rsync can only detect hard links between files that
are inside the transfer set.  If rsync updates a file that has
extra hard-link connections to files outside the transfer,
that linkage will be broken.  If you are tempted to use the
--inplace option to avoid this breakage, be very careful that
you know how your files are being updated so that you are
certain that no unintended changes happen due to lingering
hard links (and see the --inplace option for more caveats).

If incremental recursion is active (see --recursive), rsync
may transfer a missing hard-linked file before it finds that
another link for that contents exists elsewhere in the
hierarchy.  This does not affect the accuracy of the transfer
(i.e. which files are hard-linked together), just its
efficiency (i.e. copying the data for a new, early copy of a
hard-linked file that could have been found later in the
transfer in another member of the hard-linked set of files).
One way to avoid this inefficiency is to disable incremental
recursion using the --no-inc-recursive option.

--perms, -p
This option causes the receiving rsync to set the destination
permissions to be the same as the source permissions. (See
also the --chmod option for a way to modify what rsync
considers to be the source permissions.)

When this option is off, permissions are set as follows:

o      Existing files (including updated files) retain their
existing permissions, though the --executability option
might change just the execute permission for the file.

o      New files get their "normal" permission bits set to the
source file's permissions masked with the receiving
directory's default permissions (either the receiving
process's umask, or the permissions specified via the
destination directory's default ACL), and their special
permission bits disabled except in the case where a new
directory inherits a setgid bit from its parent
directory.

Thus, when --perms and --executability are both disabled,
rsync's behavior is the same as that of other file-copy
utilities, such as cp(1) and tar(1).

In summary: to give destination files (both old and new) the
source permissions, use --perms.  To give new files the
destination-default permissions (while leaving existing files
unchanged), make sure that the --perms option is off and use
--chmod=ugo=rwX (which ensures that all non-masked bits get
enabled).  If you'd care to make this latter behavior easier
to type, you could define a popt alias for it, such as putting
this line in the file ~/.popt (the following defines the -Z
option, and includes --no-g to use the default group of the
destination dir):

rsync alias -Z --no-p --no-g --chmod=ugo=rwX

You could then use this new option in a command such as this
one:

rsync -avZ src/ dest/

(Caveat: make sure that -a does not follow -Z, or it will re-
enable the two --no-* options mentioned above.)

The preservation of the destination's setgid bit on newly-
created directories when --perms is off was added in rsync
2.6.7.  Older rsync versions erroneously preserved the three
special permission bits for newly-created files when --perms
was off, while overriding the destination's setgid bit setting
on a newly-created directory.  Default ACL observance was
added to the ACL patch for rsync 2.6.7, so older (or non-ACL-
enabled) rsyncs use the umask even if default ACLs are
present.  (Keep in mind that it is the version of the
receiving rsync that affects these behaviors.)

--executability, -E
This option causes rsync to preserve the executability (or
non-executability) of regular files when --perms is not
enabled.  A regular file is considered to be executable if at
least one 'x' is turned on in its permissions.  When an
existing destination file's executability differs from that of
the corresponding source file, rsync modifies the destination
file's permissions as follows:

o      To make a file non-executable, rsync turns off all its
'x' permissions.

o      To make a file executable, rsync turns on each 'x'
permission that has a corresponding 'r' permission
enabled.

If --perms is enabled, this option is ignored.

--acls, -A
This option causes rsync to update the destination ACLs to be
the same as the source ACLs.  The option also implies --perms.

The source and destination systems must have compatible ACL
entries for this option to work properly.  See the --fake-
super option for a way to backup and restore ACLs that are not
compatible.

--xattrs, -X
This option causes rsync to update the destination extended
attributes to be the same as the source ones.

For systems that support extended-attribute namespaces, a copy
being done by a super-user copies all namespaces except
system.*.  A normal user only copies the user.* namespace.  To
be able to backup and restore non-user namespaces as a normal
user, see the --fake-super option.

The above name filtering can be overridden by using one or
more filter options with the x modifier.  When you specify an
xattr-affecting filter rule, rsync requires that you do your
own system/user filtering, as well as any additional filtering
for what xattr names are copied and what names are allowed to
be deleted.  For example, to skip the system namespace, you
could specify:

--filter='-x system.*'

To skip all namespaces except the user namespace, you could
specify a negated-user match:

--filter='-x! user.*'

To prevent any attributes from being deleted, you could
specify a receiver-only rule that excludes all names:

--filter='-xr *'

Note that the -X option does not copy rsync's special xattr
values (e.g.  those used by --fake-super) unless you repeat
the option (e.g. -XX).  This "copy all xattrs" mode cannot be
used with --fake-super.

--chmod=CHMOD
This option tells rsync to apply one or more comma-separated
"chmod" modes to the permission of the files in the transfer.
The resulting value is treated as though it were the
permissions that the sending side supplied for the file, which
means that this option can seem to have no effect on existing
files if --perms is not enabled.

In addition to the normal parsing rules specified in the
chmod(1) manpage, you can specify an item that should only
apply to a directory by prefixing it with a 'D', or specify an
item that should only apply to a file by prefixing it with a
'F'.  For example, the following will ensure that all
directories get marked set-gid, that no files are other-
writable, that both are user-writable and group-writable, and
that both have consistent executability across all bits:

--chmod=Dg+s,ug+w,Fo-w,+X

Using octal mode numbers is also allowed:

--chmod=D2775,F664

It is also legal to specify multiple --chmod options, as each
additional option is just appended to the list of changes to
make.

See the --perms and --executability options for how the
resulting permission value can be applied to the files in the
transfer.

--owner, -o
This option causes rsync to set the owner of the destination
file to be the same as the source file, but only if the
--super and --fake-super options).  Without this option, the
owner of new and/or transferred files are set to the invoking
user on the receiving side.

The preservation of ownership will associate matching names by
default, but may fall back to using the ID number in some
discussion).

--group, -g
This option causes rsync to set the group of the destination
file to be the same as the source file.  If the receiving
program is not running as the super-user (or if --no-super was
specified), only groups that the invoking user on the
receiving side is a member of will be preserved.  Without this
option, the group is set to the default group of the invoking
user on the receiving side.

The preservation of group information will associate matching
names by default, but may fall back to using the ID number in
full discussion).

--devices
This option causes rsync to transfer character and block
device files to the remote system to recreate these devices.
This option has no effect if the receiving rsync is not run as
options).

--specials
This option causes rsync to transfer special files such as
named sockets and fifos.

-D     The -D option is equivalent to --devices --specials.

--write-devices
This tells rsync to treat a device on the receiving side as a
regular file, allowing the writing of file data into a device.

This option implies the --inplace option.

Be careful using this, as you should know what devices are
present on the receiving side of the transfer, especially if
running rsync as root.

This option is refused by an rsync daemon.

--times, -t
This tells rsync to transfer modification times along with the
files and update them on the remote system.  Note that if this
option is not used, the optimization that excludes files that
have not been modified cannot be effective; in other words, a
missing -t or -a will cause the next transfer to behave as if
it used -I, causing all files to be updated (though rsync's
delta-transfer algorithm will make the update fairly efficient
if the files haven't actually changed, you're much better off
using -t).

--atimes, -U
This tells rsync to set the access (use) times of the
destination files to the same value as the source files.

If repeated, it also sets the --open-noatime option, which can
same access times on the transferred files without needing to
run rsync an extra time after a file is transferred.

Note that some older rsync versions (prior to 3.2.0) may have
been built with a pre-release --atimes patch that does not
imply --open-noatime when this option is repeated.

--open-noatime
This tells rsync to open files with the O_NOATIME flag (on
systems that support it) to avoid changing the access time of
the files that are being transferred.  If your OS does not
support the O_NOATIME flag then rsync will silently ignore
this option.  Note also that some filesystems are mounted to
avoid updating the atime on read access even without the
O_NOATIME flag being set.

--crtimes, -N,
This tells rsync to set the create times (newness) of the
destination files to the same value as the source files.

--omit-dir-times, -O
This tells rsync to omit directories when it is preserving
modification times (see --times).  If NFS is sharing the
directories on the receiving side, it is a good idea to use
-O.  This option is inferred if you use --backup without
--backup-dir.

This option also has the side-effect of avoiding early
creation of directories in incremental recursion copies.  The
default --inc-recursive copying normally does an early-create
pass of all the sub-directories in a parent directory in order
for it to be able to then set the modify time of the parent
directory right away (without having to delay that until a
bunch of recursive copying has finished).  This early-create
idiom is not necessary if directory modify times are not being
preserved, so it is skipped.  Since early-create directories
don't have accurate mode, mtime, or ownership, the use of this
option can help when someone wants to avoid these partially-
finished directories.

This tells rsync to omit symlinks when it is preserving
modification times (see --times).

--super
This tells the receiving side to attempt super-user activities
even if the receiving rsync wasn't run by the super-user.
These activities include: preserving users via the --owner
option, preserving all groups (not just the current user's
groups) via the --groups option, and copying devices via the
--devices option.  This is useful for systems that allow such
activities without being the super-user, and also for ensuring
that you will get errors if the receiving side isn't being run
as the super-user.  To turn off super-user activities, the
super-user can use --no-super.

--fake-super
When this option is enabled, rsync simulates super-user
activities by saving/restoring the privileged attributes via
special extended attributes that are attached to each file (as
needed).  This includes the file's owner and group (if it is
not the default), the file's device info (device & special
files are created as empty text files), and any permission
bits that we won't allow to be set on the real file (e.g. the
real file gets u-s,g-s,o-t for safety) or that would limit the
owner's access (since the real super-user can always
access/change a file, the files we create can always be
accessed/changed by the creating user).  This option also
handles ACLs (if --acls was specified) and non-user extended
attributes (if --xattrs was specified).

This is a good way to backup data without using a super-user,
and to store ACLs from incompatible systems.

The --fake-super option only affects the side where the option
is used.  To affect the remote side of a remote-shell
connection, use the --remote-option (-M) option:

rsync -av -M--fake-super /src/ host:/dest/

For a local copy, this option affects both the source and the
destination.  If you wish a local copy to enable this option
just for the destination files, specify -M--fake-super.  If
you wish a local copy to enable this option just for the
source files, combine --fake-super with -M--super.

This option is overridden by both --super and --no-super.

file.

--sparse, -S
Try to handle sparse files efficiently so they take up less
space on the destination.  If combined with --inplace the file
created might not end up with sparse blocks with some
combinations of kernel version and/or filesystem type.  If
--whole-file is in effect (e.g. for a local copy) then it will
always work because rsync truncates the file prior to writing
out the updated version.

Note that versions of rsync older than 3.1.3 will reject the
combination of --sparse and --inplace.

--preallocate
This tells the receiver to allocate each destination file to
its eventual size before writing data to the file.  Rsync will
only use the real filesystem-level preallocation support
provided by Linux's fallocate(2) system call or Cygwin's
posix_fallocate(3), not the slow glibc implementation that
writes a null byte into each block.

Without this option, larger files may not be entirely
contiguous on the filesystem, but with this option rsync will
probably copy more slowly.  If the destination is not an
extent-supporting filesystem (such as ext4, xfs, NTFS, etc.),
this option may have no positive effect at all.

If combined with --sparse, the file will only have sparse
blocks (as opposed to allocated sequences of null bytes) if
the kernel version and filesystem type support creating holes
in the allocated data.

--dry-run, -n
This makes rsync perform a trial run that doesn't make any
changes (and produces mostly the same output as a real run).
It is most commonly used in combination with the --verbose, -v
and/or --itemize-changes, -i options to see what an rsync
command is going to do before one actually runs it.

The output of --itemize-changes is supposed to be exactly the
same on a dry run and a subsequent real run (barring
intentional trickery and system call failures); if it isn't,
that's a bug.  Other output should be mostly unchanged, but
may differ in some areas.  Notably, a dry run does not send
the actual data for file transfers, so --progress has no
effect, the "bytes sent", "bytes received", "literal data",
and "matched data" statistics are too small, and the "speedup"
value is equivalent to a run where no file transfers were
needed.

--whole-file, -W
This option disables rsync's delta-transfer algorithm, which
causes all transferred files to be sent whole.  The transfer
may be faster if this option is used when the bandwidth
between the source and destination machines is higher than the
bandwidth to disk (especially when the "disk" is actually a
networked filesystem).  This is the default when both the
source and destination are specified as local paths, but only
if no batch-writing option is in effect.

--checksum-choice=STR, --cc=STR
This option overrides the checksum algorithms.  If one
algorithm name is specified, it is used for both the transfer
checksums and (assuming --checksum is specified) the pre-
transfer checksums.  If two comma-separated names are
supplied, the first name affects the transfer checksums, and
the second name affects the pre-transfer checksums (-c).

The checksum options that you may be able to use are:

o      auto (the default automatic choice)

o      xxh128

o      xxh3

o      xxh64 (aka xxhash)

o      md5

o      md4

o      none

Run rsync --version to see the default checksum list compiled
into your version (which may differ from the list above).

If "none" is specified for the first (or only) name, the
--whole-file option is forced on and no checksum verification
is performed on the transferred data.  If "none" is specified
for the second (or only) name, the --checksum option cannot be
used.

The "auto" option is the default, where rsync bases its
algorithm choice on a negotiation between the client and the
server as follows:

When both sides of the transfer are at least 3.2.0, rsync
chooses the first algorithm in the client's list of choices
that is also in the server's list of choices.  If no common
checksum choice is found, rsync exits with an error.  If the
remote rsync is too old to support checksum negotiation, a
value is chosen based on the protocol version (which chooses
between MD5 and various flavors of MD4 based on protocol age).

The default order can be customized by setting the environment
variable RSYNC_CHECKSUM_LIST to a space-separated list of
acceptable checksum names.  If the string contains a "&"
character, it is separated into the "client string & server
string", otherwise the same string applies to both.  If the
string (or string portion) contains no non-whitespace
characters, the default checksum list is used.  This method
does not allow you to specify the transfer checksum separately
from the pre-transfer checksum, and it discards "auto" and all
unknown checksum names.  A list with only invalid names
results in a failed negotiation.

The use of the --checksum-choice option overrides this
environment list.

--one-file-system, -x
This tells rsync to avoid crossing a filesystem boundary when
recursing.  This does not limit the user's ability to specify
items to copy from multiple filesystems, just rsync's
recursion through the hierarchy of each directory that the
user specified, and also the analogous recursion on the
receiving side during deletion.  Also keep in mind that rsync
treats a "bind" mount to the same device as being on the same
filesystem.

If this option is repeated, rsync omits all mount-point
directories from the copy.  Otherwise, it includes an empty
directory at each mount-point it encounters (using the
attributes of the mounted directory because those of the
underlying mount-point directory are inaccessible).

device is treated like a mount-point.  Symlinks to non-
directories are unaffected by this option.

--existing, --ignore-non-existing
This tells rsync to skip creating files (including
directories) that do not exist yet on the destination.  If
this option is combined with the --ignore-existing option, no
files will be updated (which can be useful if all you want to
do is delete extraneous files).

This option is a transfer rule, not an exclude, so it doesn't
affect the data that goes into the file-lists, and thus it
doesn't affect deletions.  It just limits the files that the

--ignore-existing
This tells rsync to skip updating files that already exist on
the destination (this does not ignore existing directories, or

This option is a transfer rule, not an exclude, so it doesn't
affect the data that goes into the file-lists, and thus it
doesn't affect deletions.  It just limits the files that the

This option can be useful for those doing backups using the
--link-dest option when they need to continue a backup run
that got interrupted.  Since a --link-dest run is copied into
a new directory hierarchy (when it is used properly), using
--ignore-existing will ensure that the already-handled files
don't get tweaked (which avoids a change in permissions on the
hard-linked files).  This does mean that this option is only
looking at the existing files in the destination hierarchy
itself.

--remove-source-files
This tells rsync to remove from the sending side the files
(meaning non-directories) that are a part of the transfer and
have been successfully duplicated on the receiving side.

Note that you should only use this option on source files that
are quiescent.  If you are using this to move files that show
up in a particular directory over to another host, make sure
that the finished files get renamed into the source directory,
not directly written into it, so that rsync can't possibly
transfer a file that is not yet fully written.  If you can't
first write the files into a different directory, you should
use a naming idiom that lets rsync avoid transferring files
that are not yet finished (e.g. name the file "foo.new" when
it is written, rename it to "foo" when it is done, and then
use the option --exclude='*.new' for the rsync transfer).

Starting with 3.1.0, rsync will skip the sender-side removal
(and output an error) if the file's size or modify time has
not stayed unchanged.

--delete
This tells rsync to delete extraneous files from the receiving
side (ones that aren't on the sending side), but only for the
directories that are being synchronized.  You must have asked
rsync to send the whole directory (e.g. "dir" or "dir/")
without using a wildcard for the directory's contents (e.g.
"dir/*") since the wildcard is expanded by the shell and rsync
thus gets a request to transfer individual files, not the
files' parent directory.  Files that are excluded from the
transfer are also excluded from being deleted unless you use
the --delete-excluded option or mark the rules as only
matching on the sending side (see the include/exclude
modifiers in the FILTER RULES section).

Prior to rsync 2.6.7, this option would have no effect unless
--recursive was enabled.  Beginning with 2.6.7, deletions will
also occur when --dirs (-d) is enabled, but only for
directories whose contents are being copied.

This option can be dangerous if used incorrectly! It is a very
good idea to first try a run using the --dry-run option (-n)
to see what files are going to be deleted.

If the sending side detects any I/O errors, then the deletion
of any files at the destination will be automatically
disabled.  This is to prevent temporary filesystem failures
(such as NFS errors) on the sending side from causing a
massive deletion of files on the destination.  You can
override this with the --ignore-errors option.

The --delete option may be combined with one of the --delete-
WHEN options without conflict, as well as --delete-excluded.
However, if none of the --delete-WHEN options are specified,
rsync will choose the --delete-during algorithm when talking
to rsync 3.0.0 or newer, and the --delete-before algorithm
--delete-after.

--delete-before
Request that the file-deletions on the receiving side be done
before the transfer starts.  See --delete (which is implied)
for more details on file-deletion.

Deleting before the transfer is helpful if the filesystem is
tight for space and removing extraneous files would help to
make the transfer possible.  However, it does introduce a
delay before the start of the transfer, and this delay might
cause the transfer to timeout (if --timeout was specified).
It also forces rsync to use the old, non-incremental recursion
algorithm that requires rsync to scan all the files in the
transfer into memory at once (see --recursive).

--delete-during, --del
Request that the file-deletions on the receiving side be done
incrementally as the transfer happens.  The per-directory
delete scan is done right before each directory is checked for
updates, so it behaves like a more efficient --delete-before,
including doing the deletions prior to any per-directory
filter files being updated.  This option was first added in
rsync version 2.6.4.  See --delete (which is implied) for more
details on file-deletion.

--delete-delay
Request that the file-deletions on the receiving side be
computed during the transfer (like --delete-during), and then
removed after the transfer completes.  This is useful when
combined with --delay-updates and/or --fuzzy, and is more
efficient than using --delete-after (but can behave
differently, since --delete-after computes the deletions in a
separate pass after all updates are done).  If the number of
removed files overflows an internal buffer, a temporary file
will be created on the receiving side to hold the names (it is
removed while open, so you shouldn't see it during the
transfer).  If the creation of the temporary file fails, rsync
will try to fall back to using --delete-after (which it cannot
do if --recursive is doing an incremental scan).  See --delete
(which is implied) for more details on file-deletion.

--delete-after
Request that the file-deletions on the receiving side be done
after the transfer has completed.  This is useful if you are
sending new per-directory merge files as a part of the
transfer and you want their exclusions to take effect for the
delete phase of the current transfer.  It also forces rsync to
use the old, non-incremental recursion algorithm that requires
rsync to scan all the files in the transfer into memory at
once (see --recursive). See --delete (which is implied) for
more details on file-deletion.

--delete-excluded
In addition to deleting the files on the receiving side that
are not on the sending side, this tells rsync to also delete
any files on the receiving side that are excluded (see
--exclude).  See the FILTER RULES section for a way to make
individual exclusions behave this way on the receiver, and for
a way to protect files from --delete-excluded.  See --delete
(which is implied) for more details on file-deletion.

--ignore-missing-args
When rsync is first processing the explicitly requested source
files (e.g.  command-line arguments or --files-from entries),
it is normally an error if the file cannot be found.  This
option suppresses that error, and does not try to transfer the
file.  This does not affect subsequent vanished-file errors if
a file was initially found to be present and later is no
longer there.

--delete-missing-args
This option takes the behavior of (the implied) --ignore-
missing-args option a step farther: each missing arg will
become a deletion request of the corresponding destination
file on the receiving side (should it exist).  If the
destination file is a non-empty directory, it will only be
successfully deleted if --force or --delete are in effect.
Other than that, this option is independent of any other type
of delete processing.

The missing source files are represented by special file-list
entries which display as a "*missing" entry in the --list-only
output.

--ignore-errors
Tells --delete to go ahead and delete files even when there
are I/O errors.

--force
This option tells rsync to delete a non-empty directory when
it is to be replaced by a non-directory.  This is only
relevant if deletions are not active (see --delete for
details).

Note for older rsync versions: --force used to still be
required when using --delete-after, and it used to be non-
functional unless the --recursive option was also enabled.

--max-delete=NUM
This tells rsync not to delete more than NUM files or
directories.  If that limit is exceeded, all further deletions
are skipped through the end of the transfer.  At the end,
rsync outputs a warning (including a count of the skipped
deletions) and exits with an error code of 25 (unless some
more important error condition also occurred).

Beginning with version 3.0.0, you may specify --max-delete=0
to be warned about any extraneous files in the destination
without removing any of them.  Older clients interpreted this
as "unlimited", so if you don't know what version the client
is, you can use the less obvious --max-delete=-1 as a
backward-compatible way to specify that no deletions be
allowed (though really old versions didn't warn when the limit
was exceeded).

--max-size=SIZE
This tells rsync to avoid transferring any file that is larger
than the specified SIZE.  A numeric value can be suffixed with
a string to indicate the numeric units or left unqualified to
specify bytes.  Feel free to use a fractional value along with
the units, such as --max-size=1.5m.

This option is a transfer rule, not an exclude, so it doesn't
affect the data that goes into the file-lists, and thus it
doesn't affect deletions.  It just limits the files that the

The first letter of a units string can be B (bytes), K (kilo),
M (mega), G (giga), T (tera), or P (peta).  If the string is a
single char or has "ib" added to it (e.g. "G" or "GiB") then
the units are multiples of 1024.  If you use a two-letter
suffix that ends with a "B" (e.g. "kb") then you get units
that are multiples of 1000.  The string's letters can be any
mix of upper and lower-case that you want to use.

Finally, if the string ends with either "+1" or "-1", it is
offset by one byte in the indicated direction.  The largest
possible value is usually 8192P-1.

Examples: --max-size=1.5mb-1 is 1499999 bytes, and --max-
size=2g+1 is 2147483649 bytes.

Note that rsync versions prior to 3.1.0 did not allow --max-
size=0.

--min-size=SIZE
This tells rsync to avoid transferring any file that is
smaller than the specified SIZE, which can help in not
transferring small, junk files.  See the --max-size option for
a description of SIZE and other information.

Note that rsync versions prior to 3.1.0 did not allow --min-
size=0.

--max-alloc=SIZE
By default rsync limits an individual malloc/realloc to about
1GB in size.  For most people this limit works just fine and
prevents a protocol error causing rsync to request massive
amounts of memory.  However, if you have many millions of
files in a transfer, a large amount of server memory, and you
don't want to split up your transfer into multiple parts, you
can increase the per-allocation limit to something larger and
rsync will consume more memory.

Keep in mind that this is not a limit on the total size of
allocated memory.  It is a sanity-check value for each
individual allocation.

See the --max-size option for a description of how SIZE can be
specified.  The default suffix if none is given is bytes.

Beginning in 3.2.3, a value of 0 specifies no limit.

You can set a default value using the environment variable
RSYNC_MAX_ALLOC using the same SIZE values as supported by
this option.  If the remote rsync doesn't understand the
--max-alloc option, you can override an environmental value by
specifying --max-alloc=1g, which will make rsync avoid sending
the option to the remote side (because "1G" is the default).

--block-size=SIZE, -B
This forces the block size used in rsync's delta-transfer
algorithm to a fixed value.  It is normally selected based on
the size of each file being updated.  See the technical report
for details.

Beginning in 3.2.3 the SIZE can be specified with a suffix as
detailed in the --max-size option.  Older versions only
accepted a byte count.

--rsh=COMMAND, -e
This option allows you to choose an alternative remote shell
program to use for communication between the local and remote
copies of rsync.  Typically, rsync is configured to use ssh by
default, but you may prefer to use rsh on a local network.

If this option is used with [user@]host::module/path, then the
remote shell COMMAND will be used to run an rsync daemon on
the remote host, and all data will be transmitted through that
remote shell connection, rather than through a direct socket
connection to a running rsync daemon on the remote host.  See
the section "USING RSYNC-DAEMON FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL
CONNECTION" above.

Beginning with rsync 3.2.0, the RSYNC_PORT environment
variable will be set when a daemon connection is being made
via a remote-shell connection.  It is set to 0 if the default
daemon port is being assumed, or it is set to the value of the
rsync port that was specified via either the --port option or
a non-empty port value in an rsync:// URL.  This allows the
script to discern if a non-default port is being requested,
allowing for things such as an SSL or stunnel helper script to
connect to a default or alternate port.

Command-line arguments are permitted in COMMAND provided that
COMMAND is presented to rsync as a single argument.  You must
use spaces (not tabs or other whitespace) to separate the
command and args from each other, and you can use single-
and/or double-quotes to preserve spaces in an argument (but
not backslashes).  Note that doubling a single-quote inside a
single-quoted string gives you a single-quote; likewise for
double-quotes (though you need to pay attention to which
quotes your shell is parsing and which quotes rsync is
parsing).  Some examples:

-e 'ssh -p 2234'
-e 'ssh -o "ProxyCommand nohup ssh firewall nc -w1 %h %p"'

(Note that ssh users can alternately customize site-specific
connect options in their .ssh/config file.)

You can also choose the remote shell program using the
RSYNC_RSH environment variable, which accepts the same range
of values as -e.

option.

--rsync-path=PROGRAM
Use this to specify what program is to be run on the remote
machine to start-up rsync.  Often used when rsync is not in
the default remote-shell's path (e.g. --rsync-
path=/usr/local/bin/rsync).  Note that PROGRAM is run with the
help of a shell, so it can be any program, script, or command
sequence you'd care to run, so long as it does not corrupt the
standard-in & standard-out that rsync is using to communicate.

One tricky example is to set a different default directory on
the remote machine for use with the --relative option.  For
instance:

rsync -avR --rsync-path="cd /a/b && rsync" host:c/d /e/

--remote-option=OPTION, -M
This option is used for more advanced situations where you
want certain effects to be limited to one side of the transfer
only.  For instance, if you want to pass --log-file=FILE and
--fake-super to the remote system, specify it like this:

rsync -av -M --log-file=foo -M--fake-super src/ dest/

If you want to have an option affect only the local side of a
transfer when it normally affects both sides, send its
negation to the remote side.  Like this:

rsync -av -x -M--no-x src/ dest/

Be cautious using this, as it is possible to toggle an option
that will cause rsync to have a different idea about what data
to expect next over the socket, and that will make it fail in
a cryptic fashion.

Note that it is best to use a separate --remote-option for
each option you want to pass.  This makes your usage
compatible with the --protect-args option.  If that option is
off, any spaces in your remote options will be split by the
remote shell unless you take steps to protect them.

When performing a local transfer, the "local" side is the
sender and the "remote" side is the receiver.

Note some versions of the popt option-parsing library have a
bug in them that prevents you from using an adjacent arg with
an equal in it next to a short option letter (e.g. -M--log-
file=/tmp/foo).  If this bug affects your version of popt, you
can use the version of popt that is included with rsync.

--cvs-exclude, -C
This is a useful shorthand for excluding a broad range of
files that you often don't want to transfer between systems.
It uses a similar algorithm to CVS to determine if a file
should be ignored.

The exclude list is initialized to exclude the following items
(these initial items are marked as perishable -- see the
FILTER RULES section):

RCS SCCS CVS CVS.adm RCSLOG cvslog.*  tags TAGS
.make.state .nse_depinfo *~ #* .#* ,* _$* *$ *.old *.bak
*.BAK *.orig *.rej .del-* *.a *.olb *.o *.obj *.so *.exe
*.Z *.elc *.ln core .svn/ .git/ .hg/ .bzr/

then, files listed in a $HOME/.cvsignore are added to the list and any files listed in the CVSIGNORE environment variable (all cvsignore names are delimited by whitespace). Finally, any file is ignored if it is in the same directory as a .cvsignore file and matches one of the patterns listed therein. Unlike rsync's filter/exclude files, these patterns are split on whitespace. See the cvs(1) manual for more information. If you're combining -C with your own --filter rules, you should note that these CVS excludes are appended at the end of your own rules, regardless of where the -C was placed on the command-line. This makes them a lower priority than any rules you specified explicitly. If you want to control where these CVS excludes get inserted into your filter rules, you should omit the -C as a command-line option and use a combination of --filter=:C and --filter=-C (either on your command-line or by putting the ":C" and "-C" rules into a filter file with your other rules). The first option turns on the per-directory scanning for the .cvsignore file. The second option does a one-time import of the CVS excludes mentioned above. --filter=RULE, -f This option allows you to add rules to selectively exclude certain files from the list of files to be transferred. This is most useful in combination with a recursive transfer. You may use as many --filter options on the command line as you like to build up the list of files to exclude. If the filter contains whitespace, be sure to quote it so that the shell gives the rule to rsync as a single argument. The text below also mentions that you can use an underscore to replace the space that separates a rule from its arg. See the FILTER RULES section for detailed information on this option. -F The -F option is a shorthand for adding two --filter rules to your command. The first time it is used is a shorthand for this rule: --filter='dir-merge /.rsync-filter' This tells rsync to look for per-directory .rsync-filter files that have been sprinkled through the hierarchy and use their rules to filter the files in the transfer. If -F is repeated, it is a shorthand for this rule: --filter='exclude .rsync-filter' This filters out the .rsync-filter files themselves from the transfer. See the FILTER RULES section for detailed information on how these options work. --exclude=PATTERN This option is a simplified form of the --filter option that defaults to an exclude rule and does not allow the full rule- parsing syntax of normal filter rules. See the FILTER RULES section for detailed information on this option. --exclude-from=FILE This option is related to the --exclude option, but it specifies a FILE that contains exclude patterns (one per line). Blank lines in the file and lines starting with ';' or '#' are ignored. If FILE is '-', the list will be read from standard input. --include=PATTERN This option is a simplified form of the --filter option that defaults to an include rule and does not allow the full rule- parsing syntax of normal filter rules. See the FILTER RULES section for detailed information on this option. --include-from=FILE This option is related to the --include option, but it specifies a FILE that contains include patterns (one per line). Blank lines in the file and lines starting with ';' or '#' are ignored. If FILE is '-', the list will be read from standard input. --files-from=FILE Using this option allows you to specify the exact list of files to transfer (as read from the specified FILE or '-' for standard input). It also tweaks the default behavior of rsync to make transferring just the specified files and directories easier: o The --relative (-R) option is implied, which preserves the path information that is specified for each item in the file (use --no-relative or --no-R if you want to turn that off). o The --dirs (-d) option is implied, which will create directories specified in the list on the destination rather than noisily skipping them (use --no-dirs or --no-d if you want to turn that off). o The --archive (-a) option's behavior does not imply --recursive (-r), so specify it explicitly, if you want it. o These side-effects change the default state of rsync, so the position of the --files-from option on the command-line has no bearing on how other options are parsed (e.g. -a works the same before or after --files- from, as does --no-R and all other options). The filenames that are read from the FILE are all relative to the source dir -- any leading slashes are removed and no ".." references are allowed to go higher than the source dir. For example, take this command: rsync -a --files-from=/tmp/foo /usr remote:/backup If /tmp/foo contains the string "bin" (or even "/bin"), the /usr/bin directory will be created as /backup/bin on the remote host. If it contains "bin/" (note the trailing slash), the immediate contents of the directory would also be sent (without needing to be explicitly mentioned in the file -- this began in version 2.6.4). In both cases, if the -r option was enabled, that dir's entire hierarchy would also be transferred (keep in mind that -r needs to be specified explicitly with --files-from, since it is not implied by -a). Also note that the effect of the (enabled by default) --relative option is to duplicate only the path info that is read from the file -- it does not force the duplication of the source-spec path (/usr in this case). In addition, the --files-from file can be read from the remote host instead of the local host if you specify a "host:" in front of the file (the host must match one end of the transfer). As a short-cut, you can specify just a prefix of ":" to mean "use the remote end of the transfer". For example: rsync -a --files-from=:/path/file-list src:/ /tmp/copy This would copy all the files specified in the /path/file-list file that was located on the remote "src" host. If the --iconv and --protect-args options are specified and the --files-from filenames are being sent from one host to another, the filenames will be translated from the sending host's charset to the receiving host's charset. NOTE: sorting the list of files in the --files-from input helps rsync to be more efficient, as it will avoid re-visiting the path elements that are shared between adjacent entries. If the input is not sorted, some path elements (implied directories) may end up being scanned multiple times, and rsync will eventually unduplicate them after they get turned into file-list elements. --from0, -0 This tells rsync that the rules/filenames it reads from a file are terminated by a null ('\0') character, not a NL, CR, or CR+LF. This affects --exclude-from, --include-from, --files- from, and any merged files specified in a --filter rule. It does not affect --cvs-exclude (since all names read from a .cvsignore file are split on whitespace). --protect-args, -s This option sends all filenames and most options to the remote rsync without allowing the remote shell to interpret them. This means that spaces are not split in names, and any non- wildcard special characters are not translated (such as ~,$,
;, &, etc.).  Wildcards are expanded on the remote host by
rsync (instead of the shell doing it).

If you use this option with --iconv, the args related to the
remote side will also be translated from the local to the
remote character-set.  The translation happens before wild-

You may also control this option via the RSYNC_PROTECT_ARGS
environment variable.  If this variable has a non-zero value,
this option will be enabled by default, otherwise it will be
disabled by default.  Either state is overridden by a manually
specified positive or negative version of this option (note
that --no-s and --no-protect-args are the negative versions).
Since this option was first introduced in 3.0.0, you'll need
to make sure it's disabled if you ever need to interact with a
remote rsync that is older than that.

Rsync can also be configured (at build time) to have this
option enabled by default (with is overridden by both the
environment and the command-line).  Run rsync --version to
check if this is the case, as it will display "default
protect-args" or "optional protect-args" depending on how it
was compiled.

This option will eventually become a new default setting at
some as-yet-undetermined point in the future.

--copy-as=USER[:GROUP]
This option instructs rsync to use the USER and (if specified
after a colon) the GROUP for the copy operations.  This only
works if the user that is running rsync has the ability to
change users.  If the group is not specified then the user's
default groups are used.

This option can help to reduce the risk of an rsync being run
as root into or out of a directory that might have live
changes happening to it and you want to make sure that root-
level read or write actions of system files are not possible.
While you could alternatively run all of rsync as the
specified user, sometimes you need the root-level host-access
credentials to be used, so this allows rsync to drop root for
the copying part of the operation after the remote-shell or
daemon connection is established.

The option only affects one side of the transfer unless the
transfer is local, in which case it affects both sides.  Use
the --remote-option to affect the remote side, such as
-M--copy-as=joe.  For a local transfer, the lsh (or lsh.sh)
support file provides a local-shell helper script that can be
used to allow a "localhost:" or "lh:" host-spec to be
specified without needing to setup any remote shells, allowing
you to specify remote options that affect the side of the
transfer that is using the host-spec (and using hostname "lh"
avoids the overriding of the remote directory to the user's
home dir).

For example, the following rsync writes the local files as
user "joe":

sudo rsync -aiv --copy-as=joe host1:backups/joe/ /home/joe/

This makes all files owned by user "joe", limits the groups to
those that are available to that user, and makes it impossible
for the joe user to do a timed exploit of the path to induce a
change to a file that the joe user has no permissions to
change.

The following command does a local copy into the "dest/" dir
as user "joe" (assuming you've installed support/lsh into a
dir on your $PATH): sudo rsync -aive lsh -M--copy-as=joe src/ lh:dest/ --temp-dir=DIR, -T This option instructs rsync to use DIR as a scratch directory when creating temporary copies of the files transferred on the receiving side. The default behavior is to create each temporary file in the same directory as the associated destination file. Beginning with rsync 3.1.1, the temp-file names inside the specified DIR will not be prefixed with an extra dot (though they will still have a random suffix added). This option is most often used when the receiving disk partition does not have enough free space to hold a copy of the largest file in the transfer. In this case (i.e. when the scratch directory is on a different disk partition), rsync will not be able to rename each received temporary file over the top of the associated destination file, but instead must copy it into place. Rsync does this by copying the file over the top of the destination file, which means that the destination file will contain truncated data during this copy. If this were not done this way (even if the destination file were first removed, the data locally copied to a temporary file in the destination directory, and then renamed into place) it would be possible for the old file to continue taking up disk space (if someone had it open), and thus there might not be enough room to fit the new version on the disk at the same time. If you are using this option for reasons other than a shortage of disk space, you may wish to combine it with the --delay- updates option, which will ensure that all copied files get put into subdirectories in the destination hierarchy, awaiting the end of the transfer. If you don't have enough room to duplicate all the arriving files on the destination partition, another way to tell rsync that you aren't overly concerned about disk space is to use the --partial-dir option with a relative path; because this tells rsync that it is OK to stash off a copy of a single file in a subdir in the destination hierarchy, rsync will use the partial-dir as a staging area to bring over the copied file, and then rename it into place from there. (Specifying a --partial-dir with an absolute path does not have this side-effect.) --fuzzy, -y This option tells rsync that it should look for a basis file for any destination file that is missing. The current algorithm looks in the same directory as the destination file for either a file that has an identical size and modified- time, or a similarly-named file. If found, rsync uses the fuzzy basis file to try to speed up the transfer. If the option is repeated, the fuzzy scan will also be done in any matching alternate destination directories that are specified via --compare-dest, --copy-dest, or --link-dest. Note that the use of the --delete option might get rid of any potential fuzzy-match files, so either use --delete-after or specify some filename exclusions if you need to prevent this. --compare-dest=DIR This option instructs rsync to use DIR on the destination machine as an additional hierarchy to compare destination files against doing transfers (if the files are missing in the destination directory). If a file is found in DIR that is identical to the sender's file, the file will NOT be transferred to the destination directory. This is useful for creating a sparse backup of just files that have changed from an earlier backup. This option is typically used to copy into an empty (or newly created) directory. Beginning in version 2.6.4, multiple --compare-dest directories may be provided, which will cause rsync to search the list in the order specified for an exact match. If a match is found that differs only in attributes, a local copy is made and the attributes updated. If a match is not found, a basis file from one of the DIRs will be selected to try to speed up the transfer. If DIR is a relative path, it is relative to the destination directory. See also --copy-dest and --link-dest. NOTE: beginning with version 3.1.0, rsync will remove a file from a non-empty destination hierarchy if an exact match is found in one of the compare-dest hierarchies (making the end result more closely match a fresh copy). --copy-dest=DIR This option behaves like --compare-dest, but rsync will also copy unchanged files found in DIR to the destination directory using a local copy. This is useful for doing transfers to a new destination while leaving existing files intact, and then doing a flash-cutover when all files have been successfully transferred. Multiple --copy-dest directories may be provided, which will cause rsync to search the list in the order specified for an unchanged file. If a match is not found, a basis file from one of the DIRs will be selected to try to speed up the transfer. If DIR is a relative path, it is relative to the destination directory. See also --compare-dest and --link-dest. --link-dest=DIR This option behaves like --copy-dest, but unchanged files are hard linked from DIR to the destination directory. The files must be identical in all preserved attributes (e.g. permissions, possibly ownership) in order for the files to be linked together. An example: rsync -av --link-dest=$PWD/prior_dir host:src_dir/ new_dir/

If file's aren't linking, double-check their attributes.  Also
check if some attributes are getting forced outside of rsync's
control, such a mount option that squishes root to a single
user, or mounts a removable drive with generic ownership (such
as OS X's "Ignore ownership on this volume" option).

Beginning in version 2.6.4, multiple --link-dest directories
may be provided, which will cause rsync to search the list in
the order specified for an exact match (there is a limit of 20
such directories).  If a match is found that differs only in
attributes, a local copy is made and the attributes updated.
If a match is not found, a basis file from one of the DIRs
will be selected to try to speed up the transfer.

This option works best when copying into an empty destination
hierarchy, as existing files may get their attributes tweaked,
and that can affect alternate destination files via hard-
links.  Also, itemizing of changes can get a bit muddled.
Note that prior to version 3.1.0, an alternate-directory exact
match would never be found (nor linked into the destination)
when a destination file already exists.

Note that if you combine this option with --ignore-times,
identical files together as a substitute for transferring the
file, never as an additional check after the file is updated.

If DIR is a relative path, it is relative to the destination

Note that rsync versions prior to 2.6.1 had a bug that could
prevent --link-dest from working properly for a non-super-user
when -o was specified (or implied by -a).  You can work-around
this bug by avoiding the -o option when sending to an old
rsync.

--compress, -z
With this option, rsync compresses the file data as it is sent
to the destination machine, which reduces the amount of data
being transmitted -- something that is useful over a slow
connection.

Rsync supports multiple compression methods and will choose
one for you unless you force the choice using the --compress-
choice (--zc) option.

Run rsync --version to see the default compress list compiled

When both sides of the transfer are at least 3.2.0, rsync
chooses the first algorithm in the client's list of choices
that is also in the server's list of choices.  If no common
compress choice is found, rsync exits with an error.  If the
remote rsync is too old to support checksum negotiation, its
list is assumed to be "zlib".

The default order can be customized by setting the environment
variable RSYNC_COMPRESS_LIST to a space-separated list of
acceptable compression names.  If the string contains a "&"
character, it is separated into the "client string & server
string", otherwise the same string applies to both.  If the
string (or string portion) contains no non-whitespace
characters, the default compress list is used.  Any unknown
compression names are discarded from the list, but a list with
only invalid names results in a failed negotiation.

There are some older rsync versions that were configured to
reject a -z option and require the use of -zz because their
compression library was not compatible with the default zlib
compression method.  You can usually ignore this weirdness
unless the rsync server complains and tells you to specify
-zz.

file suffixes that will be transferred with no (or minimal)
compression.

--compress-choice=STR, --zc=STR
This option can be used to override the automatic negotiation
of the compression algorithm that occurs when --compress is
used.  The option implies --compress unless "none" was

The compression options that you may be able to use are:

o      zstd

o      lz4

o      zlibx

o      zlib

o      none

Run rsync --version to see the default compress list compiled
into your version (which may differ from the list above).

Note that if you see an error about an option named --old-
compress or --new-compress, this is rsync trying to send the
--compress-choice=zlib or --compress-choice=zlibx option in a
backward-compatible manner that more rsync versions
understand.  This error indicates that the older rsync version
on the server will not allow you to force the compression
type.

Note that the "zlibx" compression algorithm is just the "zlib"
algorithm with matched data excluded from the compression
stream (to try to make it more compatible with an external
zlib implementation).

--compress-level=NUM, --zl=NUM
Explicitly set the compression level to use (see --compress,
-z) instead of letting it default.  The --compress option is
implied as long as the level chosen is not a "don't compress"
level for the compression algorithm that is in effect (e.g.
zlib compression treats level 0 as "off").

The level values vary depending on the checksum in effect.
Because rsync will negotiate a checksum choice by default
(when the remote rsync is new enough), it can be good to
combine this option with a --compress-choice (--zc) option
unless you're sure of the choice in effect.  For example:

rsync -aiv --zc=zstd --zl=22 host:src/ dest/

For zlib & zlibx compression the valid values are from 1 to 9
with 6 being the default.  Specifying 0 turns compression off,
and specifying -1 chooses the default of 6.

For zstd compression the valid values are from -131072 to 22
with 3 being the default. Specifying 0 chooses the default of
3.

For lz4 compression there are no levels, so the value is
always 0.

If you specify a too-large or too-small value, the number is
silently limited to a valid value.  This allows you to specify
something like --zl=999999999 and be assured that you'll end
up with the maximum compression level no matter what algorithm
was chosen.

If you want to know the compression level that is in effect,
specify --debug=nstr to see the "negotiated string" results.
This will report something like
"Client compress: zstd (level 3)" (along with the checksum
choice in effect).

--skip-compress=LIST
Override the list of file suffixes that will be compressed as
little as possible.  Rsync sets the compression level on a
per-file basis based on the file's suffix.  If the compression
algorithm has an "off" level (such as zlib/zlibx) then no
compression occurs for those files.  Other algorithms that
support changing the streaming level on-the-fly will have the
level minimized to reduces the CPU usage as much as possible
for a matching file.  At this time, only zlib & zlibx
compression support this changing of levels on a per-file
basis.

The LIST should be one or more file suffixes (without the dot)
separated by slashes (/).  You may specify an empty string to
indicate that no files should be skipped.

Simple character-class matching is supported: each must
consist of a list of letters inside the square brackets (e.g.
no special classes, such as "[:alpha:]", are supported, and
'-' has no special meaning).

The characters asterisk (*) and question-mark (?) have no
special meaning.

Here's an example that specifies 6 suffixes to skip (since 1
of the 5 rules matches 2 suffixes):

--skip-compress=gz/jpg/mp[34]/7z/bz2

The default file suffixes in the skip-compress list in this
version of rsync are:

3g2 3gp 7z aac ace apk avi bz2 deb dmg ear f4v flac flv
gpg gz iso jar jpeg jpg lrz lz lz4 lzma lzo m1a m1v m2a
m2ts m2v m4a m4b m4p m4r m4v mka mkv mov mp1 mp2 mp3 mp4
mpa mpeg mpg mpv mts odb odf odg odi odm odp ods odt oga
ogg ogm ogv ogx opus otg oth otp ots ott oxt png qt rar
rpm rz rzip spx squashfs sxc sxd sxg sxm sxw sz tbz tbz2
tgz tlz ts txz tzo vob war webm webp xz z zip zst

This list will be replaced by your --skip-compress list in all
but one situation: a copy from a daemon rsync will add your
skipped suffixes to its list of non-compressing files (and its
list may be configured to a different default).

--numeric-ids
With this option rsync will transfer numeric group and user
IDs rather than using user and group names and mapping them at
both ends.

By default rsync will use the username and groupname to
determine what ownership to give files.  The special uid 0 and
the special group 0 are never mapped via user/group names even
if the --numeric-ids option is not specified.

If a user or group has no name on the source system or it has
no match on the destination system, then the numeric ID from
the "use chroot" setting in the rsyncd.conf manpage for
information on how the chroot setting affects rsync's ability
to look up the names of the users and groups and what you can

--usermap=STRING, --groupmap=STRING
These options allow you to specify users and groups that
should be mapped to other values by the receiving side.  The
STRING is one or more FROM:TO pairs of values separated by
commas.  Any matching FROM value from the sender is replaced
or user IDs for the FROM and TO values, and the FROM value may
also be a wild-card string, which will be matched against the
sender's names (wild-cards do NOT match against ID numbers,
though see below for why a '*' matches everything).  You may
instead specify a range of ID numbers via an inclusive range:
LOW-HIGH.  For example:

The first match in the list is the one that is used.  You
should specify all your user mappings using a single --usermap
option, and/or all your group mappings using a single
--groupmap option.

Note that the sender's name for the 0 user and group are not
transmitted to the receiver, so you should either match these
values using a 0, or use the names in effect on the receiving
side (typically "root").  All other FROM names match those in
use on the sending side.  All TO names match those in use on
the receiving side.

Any IDs that do not have a name on the sending side are
treated as having an empty name for the purpose of matching.
This allows them to be matched via a "*" or using an empty
name.  For instance:

--usermap=:nobody --groupmap=*:nobody

When the --numeric-ids option is used, the sender does not
send any names, so all the IDs are treated as having an empty
name.  This means that you will need to specify numeric FROM
values if you want to map these nameless IDs to different
values.

For the --usermap option to have any effect, the -o (--owner)
option must be used (or implied), and the receiver will need
option).  For the --groupmap option to have any effect, the -g
(--groups) option must be used (or implied), and the receiver
will need to have permissions to set that group.

args (-s).

--chown=USER:GROUP
This option forces all files to be owned by USER with group
GROUP.  This is a simpler interface than using --usermap and
--groupmap directly, but it is implemented using those options
internally, so you cannot mix them.  If either the USER or
GROUP is empty, no mapping for the omitted user/group will
occur.  If GROUP is empty, the trailing colon may be omitted,
but if USER is empty, a leading colon must be supplied.

If you specify "--chown=foo:bar", this is exactly the same as
specifying "--usermap=*:foo --groupmap=*:bar", only easier.
args (-s).

--timeout=SECONDS
This option allows you to set a maximum I/O timeout in
seconds.  If no data is transferred for the specified time
then rsync will exit.  The default is 0, which means no
timeout.

--contimeout=SECONDS
This option allows you to set the amount of time that rsync
will wait for its connection to an rsync daemon to succeed.
If the timeout is reached, rsync exits with an error.

By default rsync will bind to the wildcard address when
connecting to an rsync daemon.  The --address option allows
you to specify a specific IP address (or hostname) to bind to.

--port=PORT
This specifies an alternate TCP port number to use rather than
the default of 873.  This is only needed if you are using the
double-colon (::) syntax to connect with an rsync daemon
(since the URL syntax has a way to specify the port as a part
section.

--sockopts=OPTIONS
This option can provide endless fun for people who like to
tune their systems to the utmost degree.  You can set all
sorts of socket options which may make transfers faster (or
slower!).  Read the man page for the setsockopt() system call
for details on some of the options you may be able to set.  By
default no special socket options are set.  This only affects
direct socket connections to a remote rsync daemon.

This option also exists in the --daemon mode section.

--blocking-io
This tells rsync to use blocking I/O when launching a remote
shell transport.  If the remote shell is either rsh or remsh,
rsync defaults to using blocking I/O, otherwise it defaults to
using non-blocking I/O. (Note that ssh prefers non-blocking
I/O.)

--outbuf=MODE
This sets the output buffering mode.  The mode can be None
(aka Unbuffered), Line, or Block (aka Full).  You may specify
as little as a single letter for the mode, and use upper or
lower case.

The main use of this option is to change Full buffering to
Line buffering when rsync's output is going to a file or pipe.

--itemize-changes, -i
Requests a simple itemized list of the changes that are being
made to each file, including attribute changes.  This is
exactly the same as specifying --out-format='%i %n%L'.  If you
repeat the option, unchanged files will also be output, but
only if the receiving rsync is at least version 2.6.7 (you can
use -vv with older versions of rsync, but that also turns on
the output of other verbose messages).

The "%i" escape has a cryptic output that is 11 letters long.
The general format is like the string YXcstpoguax, where Y is
replaced by the type of update being done, X is replaced by
the file-type, and the other letters represent attributes that
may be output if they are being modified.

The update types that replace the Y are as follows:

o      A < means that a file is being transferred to the
remote host (sent).

o      A > means that a file is being transferred to the local

o      A c means that a local change/creation is occurring for
the item (such as the creation of a directory or the

o      A h means that the item is a hard link to another item

o      A . means that the item is not being updated (though it
might have attributes that are being modified).

o      A * means that the rest of the itemized-output area
contains a message (e.g. "deleting").

The file-types that replace the X are: f for a file, a d for a
directory, an L for a symlink, a D for a device, and a S for a
special file (e.g. named sockets and fifos).

The other letters in the string indicate if some attributes of
the file have changed, as follows:

o      "." - the attribute is unchanged.

o      "+" - the file is newly created.

o      " " - all the attributes are unchanged (all dots turn
to spaces).

o      "?" - the change is unknown (when the remote rsync is
old).

o      A letter indicates an attribute is being updated.

The attribute that is associated with each letter is as
follows:

o      A c means either that a regular file has a different
checksum (requires --checksum) or that a symlink,
device, or special file has a changed value.  Note that
if you are sending files to an rsync prior to 3.0.1,
this change flag will be present only for checksum-
differing regular files.

o      A s means the size of a regular file is different and
will be updated by the file transfer.

o      A t means the modification time is different and is
being updated to the sender's value (requires --times).
An alternate value of T means that the modification
time will be set to the transfer time, which happens
when a file/symlink/device is updated without --times
set its time. (Note: when using an rsync 3.0.0 client,
you might see the s flag combined with t instead of the
proper T flag for this time-setting failure.)

o      A p means the permissions are different and are being
updated to the sender's value (requires --perms).

o      An o means the owner is different and is being updated
to the sender's value (requires --owner and super-user
privileges).

o      A g means the group is different and is being updated
to the sender's value (requires --group and the
authority to set the group).

o      A u|n|b indicates the following information: u  means
the access (use) time is different and is being updated
to the sender's value (requires --atimes); n means the
create time (newness) is different and is being updated
to the sender's value (requires --crtimes); b means
that both the access and create times are being
updated.

o      The a means that the ACL information is being changed.

o      The x means that the extended attribute information is
being changed.

One other output is possible: when deleting files, the "%i"
will output the string "*deleting" for each item that is being
removed (assuming that you are talking to a recent enough
rsync that it logs deletions instead of outputting them as a
verbose message).

--out-format=FORMAT
This allows you to specify exactly what the rsync client
outputs to the user on a per-update basis.  The format is a
text string containing embedded single-character escape
sequences prefixed with a percent (%) character.  A default
format of "%n%L" is assumed if either --info=name or -v is
specified (this tells you just the name of the file and, if
the item is a link, where it points).  For a full list of the
possible escape characters, see the "log format" setting in
the rsyncd.conf manpage.

Specifying the --out-format option implies the --info=name
option, which will mention each file, dir, etc. that gets
updated in a significant way (a transferred file, a recreated
itemize-changes escape (%i) is included in the string (e.g. if
the --itemize-changes option was used), the logging of names
increases to mention any item that is changed in any way (as
long as the receiving side is at least 2.6.4).  See the
--itemize-changes option for a description of the output of
"%i".

Rsync will output the out-format string prior to a file's
transfer unless one of the transfer-statistic escapes is
requested, in which case the logging is done at the end of the
file's transfer.  When this late logging is in effect and
--progress is also specified, rsync will also output the name
of the file being transferred prior to its progress
information (followed, of course, by the out-format output).

--log-file=FILE
This option causes rsync to log what it is doing to a file.
This is similar to the logging that a daemon does, but can be
requested for the client side and/or the server side of a non-
daemon transfer.  If specified as a client option, transfer
logging will be enabled with a default format of "%i %n%L".
See the --log-file-format option if you wish to override this.

Here's a example command that requests the remote side to log
what is happening:

rsync -av --remote-option=--log-file=/tmp/rlog src/ dest/

This is very useful if you need to debug why a connection is
closing unexpectedly.

--log-file-format=FORMAT
This allows you to specify exactly what per-update logging is
put into the file specified by the --log-file option (which
must also be specified for this option to have any effect).
If you specify an empty string, updated files will not be
mentioned in the log file.  For a list of the possible escape
characters, see the "log format" setting in the rsyncd.conf
manpage.

The default FORMAT used if --log-file is specified and this
option is not is '%i %n%L'.

--stats
This tells rsync to print a verbose set of statistics on the
file transfer, allowing you to tell how effective rsync's
delta-transfer algorithm is for your data.  This option is
equivalent to --info=stats2 if combined with 0 or 1 -v
options, or --info=stats3 if combined with 2 or more -v
options.

The current statistics are as follows:

o      Number of files is the count of all "files" (in the
generic sense), which includes directories, symlinks,
etc.  The total count will be followed by a list of
counts by filetype (if the total is non-zero).  For
example: "(reg: 5, dir: 3, link: 2, dev: 1, special:
1)" lists the totals for regular files, directories,
symlinks, devices, and special files.  If any of value
is 0, it is completely omitted from the list.

o      Number of created files is the count of how many
"files" (generic sense) were created (as opposed to
updated).  The total count will be followed by a list
of counts by filetype (if the total is non-zero).

o      Number of deleted files is the count of how many
"files" (generic sense) were created (as opposed to
updated).  The total count will be followed by a list
of counts by filetype (if the total is non-zero).  Note
that this line is only output if deletions are in
effect, and only if protocol 31 is being used (the
default for rsync 3.1.x).

o      Number of regular files transferred is the count of
normal files that were updated via rsync's delta-
transfer algorithm, which does not include dirs,

o      Total file size is the total sum of all file sizes in
the transfer.  This does not count any size for
directories or special files, but does include the size

o      Total transferred file size is the total sum of all
files sizes for just the transferred files.

o      Literal data is how much unmatched file-update data we
updated files.

o      Matched data is how much data the receiver got locally
when recreating the updated files.

o      File list size is how big the file-list data was when
the sender sent it to the receiver.  This is smaller
than the in-memory size for the file list due to some
compressing of duplicated data when rsync sends the
list.

o      File list generation time is the number of seconds that
the sender spent creating the file list.  This requires
a modern rsync on the sending side for this to be
present.

o      File list transfer time is the number of seconds that
the sender spent sending the file list to the receiver.

o      Total bytes sent is the count of all the bytes that
rsync sent from the client side to the server side.

o      Total bytes received is the count of all non-message
bytes that rsync received by the client side from the
server side. "Non-message" bytes means that we don't
count the bytes for a verbose message that the server
sent to us, which makes the stats more consistent.

--8-bit-output, -8
This tells rsync to leave all high-bit characters unescaped in
the output instead of trying to test them to see if they're
valid in the current locale and escaping the invalid ones.
All control characters (but never tabs) are always escaped,
regardless of this option's setting.

The escape idiom that started in 2.6.7 is to output a literal
backslash (\) and a hash (#), followed by exactly 3 octal
digits.  For example, a newline would output as "\#012".  A
literal backslash that is in a filename is not escaped unless
it is followed by a hash and 3 digits (0-9).

Output numbers in a more human-readable format.  There are 3
possible levels: (1) output numbers with a separator between
each set of 3 digits (either a comma or a period, depending on
if the decimal point is represented by a period or a comma);
(2) output numbers in units of 1000 (with a character suffix
for larger units -- see below); (3) output numbers in units of
1024.

The default is human-readable level 1.  Each -h option
increases the level by one.  You can take the level down to 0
(to output numbers as pure digits) by specifying the --no-

The unit letters that are appended in levels 2 and 3 are: K
(kilo), M (mega), G (giga), T (tera), or P (peta).  For
example, a 1234567-byte file would output as 1.23M in level-2
(assuming that a period is your local decimal point).

Backward compatibility note: versions of rsync prior to 3.1.0
do not support human-readable level 1, and they default to
level 0.  Thus, specifying one or two -h options will behave
in a comparable manner in old and new versions as long as you
didn't specify a --no-h option prior to one or more -h
options.  See the --list-only option for one difference.

--partial
By default, rsync will delete any partially transferred file
if the transfer is interrupted.  In some circumstances it is
more desirable to keep partially transferred files.  Using the
--partial option tells rsync to keep the partial file which
should make a subsequent transfer of the rest of the file much
faster.

--partial-dir=DIR
A better way to keep partial files than the --partial option
is to specify a DIR that will be used to hold the partial data
(instead of writing it out to the destination file).  On the
next transfer, rsync will use a file found in this dir as data
to speed up the resumption of the transfer and then delete it
after it has served its purpose.

Note that if --whole-file is specified (or implied), any
partial-dir file that is found for a file that is being
updated will simply be removed (since rsync is sending files
without using rsync's delta-transfer algorithm).

Rsync will create the DIR if it is missing (just the last
dir -- not the whole path).  This makes it easy to use a
relative path (such as "--partial-dir=.rsync-partial") to have
rsync create the partial-directory in the destination file's
directory when needed, and then remove it again when the
partial file is deleted.  Note that the directory is only
removed if it is a relative pathname, as it is expected that
an absolute path is to a directory that is reserved for
partial-dir work.

If the partial-dir value is not an absolute path, rsync will
add an exclude rule at the end of all your existing excludes.
This will prevent the sending of any partial-dir files that
may exist on the sending side, and will also prevent the
untimely deletion of partial-dir items on the receiving side.
An example: the above --partial-dir option would add the
equivalent of "-f '-p .rsync-partial/'" at the end of any
other filter rules.

If you are supplying your own exclude rules, you may need to
because (1) the auto-added rule may be ineffective at the end
of your other rules, or (2) you may wish to override rsync's
exclude choice.  For instance, if you want to make rsync
clean-up any left-over partial-dirs that may be lying around,
you should specify --delete-after and add a "risk" filter
rule, e.g.  -f 'R .rsync-partial/'. (Avoid using --delete-
before or --delete-during unless you don't need rsync to use
any of the left-over partial-dir data during the current run.)

IMPORTANT: the --partial-dir should not be writable by other
users or it is a security risk.  E.g. AVOID "/tmp".

You can also set the partial-dir value the RSYNC_PARTIAL_DIR
environment variable.  Setting this in the environment does
not force --partial to be enabled, but rather it affects where
partial files go when --partial is specified.  For instance,
instead of using --partial-dir=.rsync-tmp along with
--progress, you could set RSYNC_PARTIAL_DIR=.rsync-tmp in your
environment and then just use the -P option to turn on the use
of the .rsync-tmp dir for partial transfers.  The only times
that the --partial option does not look for this environment
value are (1) when --inplace was specified (since --inplace
conflicts with --partial-dir), and (2) when --delay-updates
was specified (see below).

When a modern rsync resumes the transfer of a file in the
partial-dir, that partial file is now updated in-place instead
of creating yet another tmp-file copy (so it maxes out at dest
+ tmp instead of dest + partial + tmp).  This requires both
ends of the transfer to be at least version 3.2.0.

For the purposes of the daemon-config's "refuse options"
setting, --partial-dir does not imply --partial.  This is so
that a refusal of the --partial option can be used to disallow
the overwriting of destination files with a partial transfer,
while still allowing the safer idiom provided by --partial-
dir.

This option puts the temporary file from each updated file
into a holding directory until the end of the transfer, at
which time all the files are renamed into place in rapid
succession.  This attempts to make the updating of the files a
little more atomic.  By default the files are placed into a
directory named .~tmp~ in each file's destination directory,
but if you've specified the --partial-dir option, that
--partial-dir section for a discussion of how this .~tmp~ dir
will be excluded from the transfer, and what you can do if you
want rsync to cleanup old .~tmp~ dirs that might be lying
around.  Conflicts with --inplace and --append.

This option implies --no-inc-recursive since it needs the full
file list in memory in order to be able to iterate over it at
the end.

This option uses more memory on the receiving side (one bit
per file transferred) and also requires enough free disk space
on the receiving side to hold an additional copy of all the
updated files.  Note also that you should not use an absolute
path to --partial-dir unless (1) there is no chance of any of
the files in the transfer having the same name (since all the
updated files will be put into a single directory if the path
is absolute) and (2) there are no mount points in the
hierarchy (since the delayed updates will fail if they can't
be renamed into place).

subdir for an update algorithm that is even more atomic (it
uses --link-dest and a parallel hierarchy of files).

--prune-empty-dirs, -m
This option tells the receiving rsync to get rid of empty
directories from the file-list, including nested directories
that have no non-directory children.  This is useful for
avoiding the creation of a bunch of useless directories when
the sending rsync is recursively scanning a hierarchy of files
using include/exclude/filter rules.

Note that the use of transfer rules, such as the --min-size
option, does not affect what goes into the file list, and thus
does not leave directories empty, even if none of the files in
a directory match the transfer rule.

Because the file-list is actually being pruned, this option
also affects what directories get deleted when a delete is
active.  However, keep in mind that excluded files and
directories can prevent existing items from being deleted due
to an exclude both hiding source files and protecting
destination files.  See the perishable filter-rule option for
how to avoid this.

You can prevent the pruning of certain empty directories from
the file-list by using a global "protect" filter.  For
instance, this option would ensure that the directory
"emptydir" was kept in the file-list:

--filter 'protect emptydir/'

Here's an example that copies all .pdf files in a hierarchy,
only creating the necessary destination directories to hold
the .pdf files, and ensures that any superfluous files and
directories in the destination are removed (note the hide
filter of non-directories being used instead of an exclude):

rsync -avm --del --include='*.pdf' -f 'hide,! */' src/ dest

If you didn't want to remove superfluous destination files,
the more time-honored options of --include='*/' --exclude='*'
would work fine in place of the hide-filter (if that is more
natural to you).

--progress
This option tells rsync to print information showing the
progress of the transfer.  This gives a bored user something
to watch.  With a modern rsync this is the same as specifying
--info=flist2,name,progress, but any user-supplied settings
for those info flags takes precedence (e.g.
"--info=flist0 --progress").

While rsync is transferring a regular file, it updates a
progress line that looks like this:

782448  63%  110.64kB/s    0:00:04

In this example, the receiver has reconstructed 782448 bytes
or 63% of the sender's file, which is being reconstructed at a
rate of 110.64 kilobytes per second, and the transfer will
finish in 4 seconds if the current rate is maintained until
the end.

These statistics can be misleading if rsync's delta-transfer
algorithm is in use.  For example, if the sender's file
consists of the basis file followed by additional data, the
reported rate will probably drop dramatically when the
receiver gets to the literal data, and the transfer will
probably take much longer to finish than the receiver
estimated as it was finishing the matched part of the file.

When the file transfer finishes, rsync replaces the progress
line with a summary line that looks like this:

1,238,099 100%  146.38kB/s    0:00:08  (xfr#5, to-chk=169/396)

In this example, the file was 1,238,099 bytes long in total,
the average rate of transfer for the whole file was 146.38
kilobytes per second over the 8 seconds that it took to
complete, it was the 5th transfer of a regular file during the
current rsync session, and there are 169 more files for the
receiver to check (to see if they are up-to-date or not)
remaining out of the 396 total files in the file-list.

In an incremental recursion scan, rsync won't know the total
number of files in the file-list until it reaches the ends of
the scan, but since it starts to transfer files during the
scan, it will display a line with the text "ir-chk" (for
incremental recursion check) instead of "to-chk" until the
point that it knows the full size of the list, at which point
it will switch to using "to-chk".  Thus, seeing "ir-chk" lets
you know that the total count of files in the file list is
still going to increase (and each time it does, the count of
files left to check will increase by the number of the files

-P     The -P option is equivalent to --partial --progress.  Its
purpose is to make it much easier to specify these two options
for a long transfer that may be interrupted.

There is also a --info=progress2 option that outputs
statistics based on the whole transfer, rather than individual
files.  Use this flag without outputting a filename (e.g.
avoid -v or specify --info=name0) if you want to see how the
transfer is doing without scrolling the screen with a lot of
names. (You don't need to specify the --progress option in
order to use --info=progress2.)

Finally, you can get an instant progress report by sending
rsync a signal of either SIGINFO or SIGVTALRM.  On BSD
systems, a SIGINFO is generated by typing a Ctrl+T (Linux
doesn't currently support a SIGINFO signal).  When the client-
side process receives one of those signals, it sets a flag to
output a single progress report which is output when the
current file transfer finishes (so it may take a little time
if a big file is being handled when the signal arrives).  A
filename is output (if needed) followed by the
--info=progress2 format of progress info.  If you don't know
which of the 3 rsync processes is the client process, it's OK
to signal all of them (since the non-client processes ignore
the signal).

CAUTION: sending SIGVTALRM to an older rsync (pre-3.2.0) will
kill it.

This option allows you to provide a password for accessing an
rsync daemon via a file or via standard input if FILE is -.
The file should contain just the password on the first line
(all other lines are ignored).  Rsync will exit with an error
if FILE is world readable or if a root-run rsync command finds
a non-root-owned file.

This option does not supply a password to a remote shell
transport such as ssh; to learn how to do that, consult the
remote shell's documentation.  When accessing an rsync daemon
using a remote shell as the transport, this option only comes
into effect after the remote shell finishes its authentication
(i.e. if you have also specified a password in the daemon's
config file).

--early-input=FILE
This option allows rsync to send up to 5K of data to the
"early exec" script on its stdin.  One possible use of this
data is to give the script a secret that can be used to mount
an encrypted filesystem (which you should unmount in the the
"post-xfer exec" script).

The daemon must be at least version 3.2.1.

--list-only
This option will cause the source files to be listed instead
of transferred.  This option is inferred if there is a single
source arg and no destination specified, so its main uses are:
(1) to turn a copy command that includes a destination arg
into a file-listing command, or (2) to be able to specify more
than one source arg (note: be sure to include the
destination).  Caution: keep in mind that a source arg with a
wild-card is expanded by the shell into multiple args, so it
is never safe to try to list such an arg without using this
option. For example:

rsync -av --list-only foo* dest/

Starting with rsync 3.1.0, the sizes output by --list-only are
affected by the --human-readable option.  By default they will
contain digit separators, but higher levels of readability
will output the sizes with unit suffixes.  Note also that the
column width for the size output has increased from 11 to 14
characters for all human-readable levels.  Use --no-h if you
want just digits in the sizes, and the old column width of 11
characters.

Compatibility note: when requesting a remote listing of files
from an rsync that is version 2.6.3 or older, you may
encounter an error if you ask for a non-recursive listing.
This is because a file listing implies the --dirs option w/o
--recursive, and older rsyncs don't have that option.  To
avoid this problem, either specify the --no-dirs option (if
you don't need to expand a directory's content), or turn on
recursion and exclude the content of subdirectories:
-r --exclude='/*/*'.

--bwlimit=RATE
This option allows you to specify the maximum transfer rate
for the data sent over the socket, specified in units per
second.  The RATE value can be suffixed with a string to
indicate a size multiplier, and may be a fractional value
(e.g. "--bwlimit=1.5m").  If no suffix is specified, the value
will be assumed to be in units of 1024 bytes (as if "K" or
"KiB" had been appended).  See the --max-size option for a
description of all the available suffixes.  A value of 0
specifies no limit.

For backward-compatibility reasons, the rate limit will be
rounded to the nearest KiB unit, so no rate smaller than 1024
bytes per second is possible.

Rsync writes data over the socket in blocks, and this option
both limits the size of the blocks that rsync writes, and
tries to keep the average transfer rate at the requested
limit.  Some burstiness may be seen where rsync writes out a
block of data and then sleeps to bring the average rate into
compliance.

Due to the internal buffering of data, the --progress option
may not be an accurate reflection on how fast the data is
being sent.  This is because some files can show up as being
rapidly sent when the data is quickly buffered, while other
can show up as very slow when the flushing of the output
buffer occurs.  This may be fixed in a future version.

--stop-after=MINS
This option tells rsync to stop copying when the specified
number of minutes has elapsed.

Rsync also accepts an earlier version of this option: --time-
limit=MINS.

For maximal flexibility, rsync does not communicate this
option to the remote rsync since it is usually enough that one
side of the connection quits as specified.  This allows the
option's use even when only one side of the connection
supports it.  You can tell the remote side about the time
limit using --remote-option (-M), should the need arise.

--stop-at=y-m-dTh:m
This option tells rsync to stop copying when the specified
point in time has been reached. The date & time can be fully
specified in a numeric format of year-month-dayThour:minute
(e.g. 2000-12-31T23:59) in the local timezone.  You may choose
to separate the date numbers using slashes instead of dashes.

The value can also be abbreviated in a variety of ways, such
as specifying a 2-digit year and/or leaving off various
values.  In all cases, the value will be taken to be the next
possible point in time where the supplied information matches.
If the value specifies the current time or a past time, rsync
exits with an error.

For example, "1-30" specifies the next January 30th (at
midnight local time), "14:00" specifies the next 2 P.M., "1"
specifies the next 1st of the month at midnight, "31"
specifies the next month where we can stop on its 31st day,
and ":59" specifies the next 59th minute after the hour.

For maximal flexibility, rsync does not communicate this
option to the remote rsync since it is usually enough that one
side of the connection quits as specified.  This allows the
option's use even when only one side of the connection
supports it.  You can tell the remote side about the time
limit using --remote-option (-M), should the need arise.  Do
keep in mind that the remote host may have a different default

--write-batch=FILE
Record a file that can later be applied to another identical
destination with --read-batch.  See the "BATCH MODE" section
for details, and also the --only-write-batch option.

This option overrides the negotiated checksum & compress lists
and always negotiates a choice based on old-school
md5/md4/zlib choices.  If you want a more modern choice, use
the --checksum-choice (--cc) and/or --compress-choice (--zc)
options.

--only-write-batch=FILE
the destination system when creating the batch.  This lets you
transport the changes to the destination system via some other
means and then apply the changes via --read-batch.

Note that you can feel free to write the batch directly to
some portable media: if this media fills to capacity before
the end of the transfer, you can just apply that partial
transfer to the destination and repeat the whole process to
get the rest of the changes (as long as you don't mind a
partially updated destination system while the multi-update
cycle is happening).

Also note that you only save bandwidth when pushing changes to
a remote system because this allows the batched data to be
diverted from the sender into the batch file without having to
flow over the wire to the receiver (when pulling, the sender
is remote, and thus can't write the batch).

Apply all of the changes stored in FILE, a file previously
generated by --write-batch.  If FILE is -, the batch data will
be read from standard input. See the "BATCH MODE" section for
details.

--protocol=NUM
Force an older protocol version to be used.  This is useful
for creating a batch file that is compatible with an older
version of rsync.  For instance, if rsync 2.6.4 is being used
with the --write-batch option, but rsync 2.6.3 is what will be
used to run the --read-batch option, you should use
"--protocol=28" when creating the batch file to force the
older protocol version to be used in the batch file (assuming

--iconv=CONVERT_SPEC
Rsync can convert filenames between character sets using this
option.  Using a CONVERT_SPEC of "." tells rsync to look up
the default character-set via the locale setting.
Alternately, you can fully specify what conversion to do by
giving a local and a remote charset separated by a comma in
the order --iconv=LOCAL,REMOTE, e.g. --iconv=utf8,iso88591.
This order ensures that the option will stay the same whether
you're pushing or pulling files.  Finally, you can specify
either --no-iconv or a CONVERT_SPEC of "-" to turn off any
conversion.  The default setting of this option is site-
specific, and can also be affected via the RSYNC_ICONV
environment variable.

For a list of what charset names your local iconv library
supports, you can run "iconv --list".

If you specify the --protect-args option (-s), rsync will
translate the filenames you specify on the command-line that
option.

Note that rsync does not do any conversion of names in filter
files (including include/exclude files).  It is up to you to
ensure that you're specifying matching rules that can match on
both sides of the transfer.  For instance, you can specify
extra include/exclude rules if there are filename differences
on the two sides that need to be accounted for.

When you pass an --iconv option to an rsync daemon that allows
it, the daemon uses the charset specified in its "charset"
configuration parameter regardless of the remote charset you
actually pass.  Thus, you may feel free to specify just the
local charset for a daemon transfer (e.g.  --iconv=utf8).

--ipv4, -4 or --ipv6, -6
Tells rsync to prefer IPv4/IPv6 when creating sockets or
running ssh.  This affects sockets that rsync has direct
control over, such as the outgoing socket when directly
contacting an rsync daemon, as well as the forwarding of the
-4 or -6 option to ssh when rsync can deduce that ssh is being
used as the remote shell.  For other remote shells you'll need
to specify the "--rsh SHELL -4" option directly (or whatever
ipv4/ipv6 hint options it uses).

These options also exist in the --daemon mode section.

If rsync was complied without support for IPv6, the --ipv6
option will have no effect.  The rsync --version output will
contain "no IPv6" if is the case.

--checksum-seed=NUM
Set the checksum seed to the integer NUM.  This 4 byte
checksum seed is included in each block and MD4 file checksum
calculation (the more modern MD5 file checksums don't use a
seed).  By default the checksum seed is generated by the
server and defaults to the current time().  This option is
used to set a specific checksum seed, which is useful for
applications that want repeatable block checksums, or in the
case where the user wants a more random checksum seed.
Setting NUM to 0 causes rsync to use the default of time() for
checksum seed.


DAEMON OPTIONS         top

       The options allowed when starting an rsync daemon are as follows:

--daemon
This tells rsync that it is to run as a daemon.  The daemon
you start running may be accessed using an rsync client using
the host::module or rsync://host/module/ syntax.

If standard input is a socket then rsync will assume that it
is being run via inetd, otherwise it will detach from the
current terminal and become a background daemon.  The daemon
by a client and respond to requests accordingly.  See the
rsyncd.conf(5) man page for more details.

By default rsync will bind to the wildcard address when run as
a daemon with the --daemon option.  The --address option
allows you to specify a specific IP address (or hostname) to
bind to.  This makes virtual hosting possible in conjunction
option in the rsyncd.conf manpage.

--bwlimit=RATE
This option allows you to specify the maximum transfer rate
for the data the daemon sends over the socket.  The client can
still specify a smaller --bwlimit value, but no larger value
will be allowed.  See the client version of this option
(above) for some extra details.

--config=FILE
This specifies an alternate config file than the default.
This is only relevant when --daemon is specified.  The default
is /etc/rsyncd.conf unless the daemon is running over a remote
shell program and the remote user is not the super-user; in
that case the default is rsyncd.conf in the current directory
value of $CVSIGNORE) you should omit the -C command-line option and instead insert a "-C" rule into your filter rules; e.g. "--filter=-C".  LIST-CLEARING FILTER RULE top  You can clear the current include/exclude list by using the "!" filter rule (as introduced in the FILTER RULES section above). The "current" list is either the global list of rules (if the rule is encountered while parsing the filter options) or a set of per- directory rules (which are inherited in their own sub-list, so a subdirectory can use this to clear out the parent's rules).  ANCHORING INCLUDE/EXCLUDE PATTERNS top  As mentioned earlier, global include/exclude patterns are anchored at the "root of the transfer" (as opposed to per-directory patterns, which are anchored at the merge-file's directory). If you think of the transfer as a subtree of names that are being sent from sender to receiver, the transfer-root is where the tree starts to be duplicated in the destination directory. This root governs where patterns that start with a / match. Because the matching is relative to the transfer-root, changing the trailing slash on a source path or changing your use of the --relative option affects the path you need to use in your matching (in addition to changing how much of the file tree is duplicated on the destination host). The following examples demonstrate this. Let's say that we want to match two source files, one with an absolute path of "/home/me/foo/bar", and one with a path of "/home/you/bar/baz". Here is how the various command choices differ for a 2-source transfer: Example cmd: rsync -a /home/me /home/you /dest +/- pattern: /me/foo/bar +/- pattern: /you/bar/baz Target file: /dest/me/foo/bar Target file: /dest/you/bar/baz Example cmd: rsync -a /home/me/ /home/you/ /dest +/- pattern: /foo/bar (note missing "me") +/- pattern: /bar/baz (note missing "you") Target file: /dest/foo/bar Target file: /dest/bar/baz Example cmd: rsync -a --relative /home/me/ /home/you /dest +/- pattern: /home/me/foo/bar (note full path) +/- pattern: /home/you/bar/baz (ditto) Target file: /dest/home/me/foo/bar Target file: /dest/home/you/bar/baz Example cmd: cd /home; rsync -a --relative me/foo you/ /dest +/- pattern: /me/foo/bar (starts at specified path) +/- pattern: /you/bar/baz (ditto) Target file: /dest/me/foo/bar Target file: /dest/you/bar/baz The easiest way to see what name you should filter is to just look at the output when using --verbose and put a / in front of the name (use the --dry-run option if you're not yet ready to copy any files).  PER-DIRECTORY RULES AND DELETE top  Without a delete option, per-directory rules are only relevant on the sending side, so you can feel free to exclude the merge files themselves without affecting the transfer. To make this easy, the 'e' modifier adds this exclude for you, as seen in these two equivalent commands: rsync -av --filter=': .excl' --exclude=.excl host:src/dir /dest rsync -av --filter=':e .excl' host:src/dir /dest However, if you want to do a delete on the receiving side AND you want some files to be excluded from being deleted, you'll need to be sure that the receiving side knows what files to exclude. The easiest way is to include the per-directory merge files in the transfer and use --delete-after, because this ensures that the receiving side gets all the same exclude rules as the sending side before it tries to delete anything: rsync -avF --delete-after host:src/dir /dest However, if the merge files are not a part of the transfer, you'll need to either specify some global exclude rules (i.e. specified on the command line), or you'll need to maintain your own per-directory merge files on the receiving side. An example of the first is this (assume that the remote .rules files exclude themselves): rsync -av --filter=': .rules' --filter='. /my/extra.rules' --delete host:src/dir /dest In the above example the extra.rules file can affect both sides of the transfer, but (on the sending side) the rules are subservient to the rules merged from the .rules files because they were specified after the per-directory merge rule. In one final example, the remote side is excluding the .rsync-filter files from the transfer, but we want to use our own .rsync-filter files to control what gets deleted on the receiving side. To do this we must specifically exclude the per-directory merge files (so that they don't get deleted) and then put rules into the local files to control what else should not get deleted. Like one of these commands: rsync -av --filter=':e /.rsync-filter' --delete \ host:src/dir /dest rsync -avFF --delete host:src/dir /dest  BATCH MODE top  Batch mode can be used to apply the same set of updates to many identical systems. Suppose one has a tree which is replicated on a number of hosts. Now suppose some changes have been made to this source tree and those changes need to be propagated to the other hosts. In order to do this using batch mode, rsync is run with the write-batch option to apply the changes made to the source tree to one of the destination trees. The write-batch option causes the rsync client to store in a "batch file" all the information needed to repeat this operation against other, identical destination trees. Generating the batch file once saves having to perform the file status, checksum, and data block generation more than once when updating multiple destination trees. Multicast transport protocols can be used to transfer the batch update files in parallel to many hosts at once, instead of sending the same data to every host individually. To apply the recorded changes to another destination tree, run rsync with the read-batch option, specifying the name of the same batch file, and the destination tree. Rsync updates the destination tree using the information stored in the batch file. For your convenience, a script file is also created when the write- batch option is used: it will be named the same as the batch file with ".sh" appended. This script file contains a command-line suitable for updating a destination tree using the associated batch file. It can be executed using a Bourne (or Bourne-like) shell, optionally passing in an alternate destination tree pathname which is then used instead of the original destination path. This is useful when the destination tree path on the current host differs from the one used to create the batch file. Examples:$ rsync --write-batch=foo -a host:/source/dir/ /adest/dir/
$scp foo* remote:$ ssh remote ./foo.sh /bdest/dir/

$rsync --write-batch=foo -a /source/dir/ /adest/dir/$ ssh remote rsync --read-batch=- -a /bdest/dir/ <foo

In these examples, rsync is used to update /adest/dir/ from
/source/dir/ and the information to repeat this operation is stored
in "foo" and "foo.sh".  The host "remote" is then updated with the
batched data going into the directory /bdest/dir.  The differences
between the two examples reveals some of the flexibility you have in
how you deal with batches:

o      The first example shows that the initial copy doesn't have to
be local -- you can push or pull data to/from a remote host
using either the remote-shell syntax or rsync daemon syntax,
as desired.

o      The first example uses the created "foo.sh" file to get the
right rsync options when running the read-batch command on the
remote host.

o      The second example reads the batch data via standard input so
that the batch file doesn't need to be copied to the remote
machine first.  This example avoids the foo.sh script because
it needed to use a modified --read-batch option, but you could
edit the script file if you wished to make use of it (just be
sure that no other option is trying to use standard input,
such as the "--exclude-from=-" option).

Caveats:

The read-batch option expects the destination tree that it is
updating to be identical to the destination tree that was used to
create the batch update fileset.  When a difference between the
destination trees is encountered the update might be discarded with a
warning (if the file appears to be up-to-date already) or the file-
update may be attempted and then, if the file fails to verify, the
update discarded with an error.  This means that it should be safe to
re-run a read-batch operation if the command got interrupted.  If you
wish to force the batched-update to always be attempted regardless of
the file's size and date, use the -I option (when reading the batch).
If an error occurs, the destination tree will probably be in a
partially updated state.  In that case, rsync can be used in its
regular (non-batch) mode of operation to fix up the destination tree.

The rsync version used on all destinations must be at least as new as
the one used to generate the batch file.  Rsync will die with an
error if the protocol version in the batch file is too new for the
way to have the creating rsync generate a batch file that an older
rsync can understand.  (Note that batch files changed format in
version 2.6.3, so mixing versions older than that with newer versions
will not work.)

When reading a batch file, rsync will force the value of certain
options to match the data in the batch file if you didn't set them to
the same as the batch-writing command.  Other options can (and
should) be changed.  For instance --write-batch changes to --read-
batch, --files-from is dropped, and the --filter / --include /
--exclude options are not needed unless one of the --delete options
is specified.

The code that creates the BATCH.sh file transforms any
filter/include/exclude options into a single list that is appended as
a "here" document to the shell script file.  An advanced user can use
this to modify the exclude list if a change in what gets deleted by
--delete is desired.  A normal user can ignore this detail and just
use the shell script as an easy way to run the appropriate --read-
batch command for the batched data.

The original batch mode in rsync was based on "rsync+", but the


       Three basic behaviors are possible when rsync encounters a symbolic

By default, symbolic links are not transferred at all.  A message
"skipping non-regular" file is emitted for any symlinks that exist.

target on the destination.  Note that --archive implies --links.

copying their referent, rather than the symlink.

Rsync can also distinguish "safe" and "unsafe" symbolic links.  An
example where this might be used is a web site mirror that wishes to
ensure that the rsync module that is copied does not include symbolic
links to /etc/passwd in the public section of the site.  Using
they point to on the destination.  Using --safe-links will cause
unsafe links to be omitted altogether. (Note that you must specify

(start with /), empty, or if they contain enough ".."  components to
ascend from the directory being copied.

Here's a summary of how the symlink options are interpreted.  The
list is in order of precedence, so if your combination of options
isn't mentioned, use the first line that is a complete subset of your
options:

any other options to affect).

Turn all unsafe symlinks into files and duplicate all safe

Turn all unsafe symlinks into files, noisily skip all safe

Duplicate safe symlinks and skip unsafe ones.



DIAGNOSTICS         top

       rsync occasionally produces error messages that may seem a little
cryptic.  The one that seems to cause the most confusion is "protocol
version mismatch -- is your shell clean?".

This message is usually caused by your startup scripts or remote
shell facility producing unwanted garbage on the stream that rsync is
using for its transport.  The way to diagnose this problem is to run

ssh remotehost /bin/true > out.dat

then look at out.dat.  If everything is working correctly then
out.dat should be a zero length file.  If you are getting the above
error from rsync then you will probably find that out.dat contains
some text or data.  Look at the contents and try to work out what is
producing it.  The most common cause is incorrectly configured shell
startup scripts (such as .cshrc or .profile) that contain output

If you are having trouble debugging filter patterns, then try
specifying the -vv option.  At this level of verbosity rsync will
show why each individual file is included or excluded.


EXIT VALUES         top

       0      Success

1      Syntax or usage error

2      Protocol incompatibility

3      Errors selecting input/output files, dirs

4      Requested action not supported: an attempt was made to
manipulate 64-bit files on a platform that cannot support
them; or an option was specified that is supported by the
client and not by the server.

5      Error starting client-server protocol

6      Daemon unable to append to log-file

10     Error in socket I/O

11     Error in file I/O

12     Error in rsync protocol data stream

13     Errors with program diagnostics

14     Error in IPC code

21     Some error returned by waitpid()

22     Error allocating core memory buffers

23     Partial transfer due to error

24     Partial transfer due to vanished source files

25     The --max-delete limit stopped deletions

35     Timeout waiting for daemon connection


ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES         top

       CVSIGNORE
The CVSIGNORE environment variable supplements any ignore
patterns in .cvsignore files.  See the --cvs-exclude option
for more details.

RSYNC_ICONV
Specify a default --iconv setting using this environment
variable. (First supported in 3.0.0.)

RSYNC_PROTECT_ARGS
Specify a non-zero numeric value if you want the --protect-
args option to be enabled by default, or a zero value to make
sure that it is disabled by default. (First supported in
3.1.0.)

RSYNC_RSH
The RSYNC_RSH environment variable allows you to override the
default shell used as the transport for rsync.  Command line
options are permitted after the command name, just as in the
-e option.

RSYNC_PROXY
The RSYNC_PROXY environment variable allows you to redirect
your rsync client to use a web proxy when connecting to a
rsync daemon.  You should set RSYNC_PROXY to a hostname:port
pair.

run authenticated rsync connections to an rsync daemon without
user intervention.  Note that this does not supply a password
to a remote shell transport such as ssh; to learn how to do
that, consult the remote shell's documentation.

USER or LOGNAME
The USER or LOGNAME environment variables are used to
determine the default username sent to an rsync daemon.  If
neither is set, the username defaults to "nobody".

HOME   The HOME environment variable is used to find the user's
default .cvsignore file.


FILES         top

       /etc/rsyncd.conf or rsyncd.conf


       rsync-ssl(1), rsyncd.conf(5)


BUGS         top

       times are transferred as *nix time_t values

When transferring to FAT filesystems rsync may re-sync unmodified
files.  See the comments on the --modify-window option.

file permissions, devices, etc. are transferred as native numerical
values

Please report bugs! See the web site at https://rsync.samba.org/.


VERSION         top

       This man page is current for version 3.2.3 of rsync.


INTERNAL OPTIONS         top

       The options --server and --sender are used internally by rsync, and
should never be typed by a user under normal circumstances.  Some
awareness of these options may be needed in certain scenarios, such
as when setting up a login that can only run an rsync command.  For
instance, the support directory of the rsync distribution has an
example script named rrsync (for restricted rsync) that can be used


CREDITS         top

       rsync is distributed under the GNU General Public License.  See the
file COPYING for details.

A web site is available at https://rsync.samba.org/.  The site
includes an FAQ-O-Matic which may cover questions unanswered by this
manual page.

We would be delighted to hear from you if you like this program.

This program uses the excellent zlib compression library written by


THANKS         top

       Special thanks go out to: John Van Essen, Matt McCutchen, Wesley W.
Terpstra, David Dykstra, Jos Backus, Sebastian Krahmer, Martin Pool,
and our gone-but-not-forgotten compadre, J.W. Schultz.

Thanks also to Richard Brent, Brendan Mackay, Bill Waite, Stephen
Rothwell and David Bell.  I've probably missed some people, my
apologies if I have.


AUTHOR         top

       rsync was originally written by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras.
Many people have later contributed to it. It is currently maintained
by Wayne Davison.

Mailing lists for support and development are available at
https://lists.samba.org/.


COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the rsync (a fast, versatile, remote (and local)
file-copying tool) project.  Information about the project can be
found at ⟨https://rsync.samba.org/⟩.  If you have a bug report for
this manual page, see ⟨https://rsync.samba.org/bugzilla.html⟩.  This
page was obtained from the tarball fetched from