rsyncd.conf(5) — Linux manual page


rsyncd.conf(5)                  User Commands                 rsyncd.conf(5)

NAME         top

       rsyncd.conf - configuration file for rsync in daemon mode

SYNOPSIS         top


DESCRIPTION         top

       The rsyncd.conf file is the runtime configuration file for rsync when
       run as an rsync daemon.

       The rsyncd.conf file controls authentication, access, logging and
       available modules.

FILE FORMAT         top

       The file consists of modules and parameters. A module begins with the
       name of the module in square brackets and continues until the next
       module begins.  Modules contain parameters of the form name = value.

       The file is line-based -- that is, each newline-terminated line
       represents either a comment, a module name or a parameter.

       Only the first equals sign in a parameter is significant. Whitespace
       before or after the first equals sign is discarded. Leading, trailing
       and internal whitespace in module and parameter names is irrelevant.
       Leading and trailing whitespace in a parameter value is discarded.
       Internal whitespace within a parameter value is retained verbatim.

       Any line beginning with a hash (#) is ignored, as are lines
       containing only whitespace. (If a hash occurs after anything other
       than leading whitespace, it is considered a part of the line's

       Any line ending in a \ is "continued" on the next line in the
       customary UNIX fashion.

       The values following the equals sign in parameters are all either a
       string (no quotes needed) or a boolean, which may be given as yes/no,
       0/1 or true/false.  Case is not significant in boolean values, but is
       preserved in string values.


       The rsync daemon is launched by specifying the --daemon option to

       The daemon must run with root privileges if you wish to use chroot,
       to bind to a port numbered under 1024 (as is the default 873), or to
       set file ownership.  Otherwise, it must just have permission to read
       and write the appropriate data, log, and lock files.

       You can launch it either via inetd, as a stand-alone daemon, or from
       an rsync client via a remote shell.  If run as a stand-alone daemon
       then just run the command "rsync --daemon" from a suitable startup

       When run via inetd you should add a line like this to /etc/services:

           rsync           873/tcp

       and a single line something like this to /etc/inetd.conf:

           rsync   stream  tcp     nowait  root   /usr/bin/rsync rsyncd --daemon

       Replace "/usr/bin/rsync" with the path to where you have rsync
       installed on your system.  You will then need to send inetd a HUP
       signal to tell it to reread its config file.

       Note that you should not send the rsync daemon a HUP signal to force
       it to reread the rsyncd.conf file. The file is re-read on each client


       The first parameters in the file (before a [module] header) are the
       global parameters.  Rsync also allows for the use of a "[global]"
       module name to indicate the start of one or more global-parameter
       sections (the name must be lower case).

       You may also include any module parameters in the global part of the
       config file in which case the supplied value will override the
       default for that parameter.

       You may use references to environment variables in the values of
       parameters.  String parameters will have %VAR% references expanded as
       late as possible (when the string is first used in the program),
       allowing for the use of variables that rsync sets at connection time,
       such as RSYNC_USER_NAME.  Non-string parameters (such as true/false
       settings) are expanded when read from the config file.  If a variable
       does not exist in the environment, or if a sequence of characters is
       not a valid reference (such as an un-paired percent sign), the raw
       characters are passed through unchanged.  This helps with backward
       compatibility and safety (e.g. expanding a non-existent %VAR% to an
       empty string in a path could result in a very unsafe path).  The
       safest way to insert a literal % into a value is to use %%.

       motd file
              This parameter allows you to specify a "message of the day" to
              display to clients on each connect. This usually contains site
              information and any legal notices. The default is no motd
              file.  This can be overridden by the --dparam=motdfile=FILE
              command-line option when starting the daemon.

       pid file
              This parameter tells the rsync daemon to write its process ID
              to that file.  The rsync keeps the file locked so that it can
              know when it is safe to overwrite an existing file.

              The filename can be overridden by the --dparam=pidfile=FILE
              command-line option when starting the daemon.

       port   You can override the default port the daemon will listen on by
              specifying this value (defaults to 873).  This is ignored if
              the daemon is being run by inetd, and is superseded by the
              --port command-line option.

              You can override the default IP address the daemon will listen
              on by specifying this value.  This is ignored if the daemon is
              being run by inetd, and is superseded by the --address
              command-line option.

       socket options
              This parameter 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.  These settings can
              also be specified via the --sockopts command-line option.

       listen backlog
              You can override the default backlog value when the daemon
              listens for connections.  It defaults to 5.


       After the global parameters you should define a number of modules,
       each module exports a directory tree as a symbolic name. Modules are
       exported by specifying a module name in square brackets [module]
       followed by the parameters for that module.  The module name cannot
       contain a slash or a closing square bracket.  If the name contains
       whitespace, each internal sequence of whitespace will be changed into
       a single space, while leading or trailing whitespace will be
       discarded.  Also, the name cannot be "global" as that exact name
       indicates that global parameters follow (see above).

       As with GLOBAL PARAMETERS, you may use references to environment
       variables in the values of parameters.  See the GLOBAL PARAMETERS
       section for more details.

              This parameter specifies a description string that is
              displayed next to the module name when clients obtain a list
              of available modules. The default is no comment.

       path   This parameter specifies the directory in the daemon's
              filesystem to make available in this module.  You must specify
              this parameter for each module in rsyncd.conf.

              You may base the path's value off of an environment variable
              by surrounding the variable name with percent signs.  You can
              even reference a variable that is set by rsync when the user
              connects.  For example, this would use the authorizing user's
              name in the path:

                  path = /home/%RSYNC_USER_NAME%

              It is fine if the path includes internal spaces -- they will
              be retained verbatim (which means that you shouldn't try to
              escape them).  If your final directory has a trailing space
              (and this is somehow not something you wish to fix), append a
              trailing slash to the path to avoid losing the trailing

       use chroot
              If "use chroot" is true, the rsync daemon will chroot to the
              "path" before starting the file transfer with the client.
              This has the advantage of extra protection against possible
              implementation security holes, but it has the disadvantages of
              requiring super-user privileges, of not being able to follow
              symbolic links that are either absolute or outside of the new
              root path, and of complicating the preservation of users and
              groups by name (see below).

              As an additional safety feature, you can specify a dot-dir in
              the module's "path" to indicate the point where the chroot
              should occur.  This allows rsync to run in a chroot with a
              non-"/" path for the top of the transfer hierarchy.  Doing
              this guards against unintended library loading (since those
              absolute paths will not be inside the transfer hierarchy
              unless you have used an unwise pathname), and lets you setup
              libraries for the chroot that are outside of the transfer.
              For example, specifying "/var/rsync/./module1" will chroot to
              the "/var/rsync" directory and set the inside-chroot path to
              "/module1".  If you had omitted the dot-dir, the chroot would
              have used the whole path, and the inside-chroot path would
              have been "/".

              When both "use chroot" and "daemon chroot" are false, OR the
              inside-chroot path of "use chroot" is not "/", rsync will: (1)
              munge symlinks by default for security reasons (see "munge
              symlinks" for a way to turn this off, but only if you trust
              your users), (2) substitute leading slashes in absolute paths
              with the module's path (so that options such as --backup-dir,
              --compare-dest, etc. interpret an absolute path as rooted in
              the module's "path" dir), and (3) trim ".." path elements from
              args if rsync believes they would escape the module hierarchy.
              The default for "use chroot" is true, and is the safer choice
              (especially if the module is not read-only).

              When this parameter is enabled and the "name converter"
              parameter is not set, the "numeric ids" parameter will default
              to being enabled (disabling name lookups).  This means that if
              you manually setup name-lookup libraries in your chroot
              (instead of using a name converter) that you need to
              explicitly set numeric ids = false for rsync to do name

              If you copy library resources into the module's chroot area,
              you should protect them through your OS's normal user/group or
              ACL settings (to prevent the rsync module's user from being
              able to change them), and then hide them from the user's view
              via "exclude" (see how in the discussion of that parameter).
              However, it's easier and safer to setup a name converter.

       daemon chroot
              This parameter specifies a path to which the daemon will
              chroot before beginning communication with clients. Module
              paths (and any "use chroot" settings) will then be related to
              this one. This lets you choose if you want the whole daemon to
              be chrooted (with this setting), just the transfers to be
              chrooted (with "use chroot"), or both.  Keep in mind that the
              "daemon chroot" area may need various OS/lib/etc files
              installed to allow the daemon to function.  By default the
              daemon runs without any chrooting.

       proxy protocol
              When this parameter is enabled, all incoming connections must
              start with a V1 or V2 proxy protocol header.  If the header is
              not found, the connection is closed.

              Setting this to true requires a proxy server to forward source
              IP information to rsync, allowing you to log proper IP/host
              info and make use of client-oriented IP restrictions.  The
              default of false means that the IP information comes directly
              from the socket's metadata.  If rsync is not behind a proxy,
              this should be disabled.

              CAUTION: using this option can be dangerous if you do not
              ensure that only the proxy is allowed to connect to the rsync
              port.  If any non-proxied connections are allowed through, the
              client will be able to use a modified rsync to spoof any
              remote IP address that they desire.  You can lock this down
              using something like iptables -uid-owner root rules (for
              strict localhost access), various firewall rules, or you can
              require password authorization so that any spoofing by users
              will not grant extra access.

              This setting is global.  If you need some modules to require
              this and not others, then you will need to setup multiple
              rsync daemon processes on different ports.

       name converter
              This parameter lets you specify a program that will be run by
              the rsync daemon to do user & group conversions between names
              & ids.  This script is started prior to any chroot being
              setup, and runs as the daemon user (not the transfer user).
              You can specify a fully qualified pathname or a program name
              that is on the $PATH.

              The program can be used to do normal user & group lookups
              without having to put any extra files into the chroot area of
              the module or you can do customized conversions.

              The nameconvert program has access to all of the environment
              variables that are described in the section on pre-xfer exec.
              This is useful if you want to customize the conversion using
              information about the module and/or the copy request.

              There is a sample python script in the support dir named
              "nameconvert" that implements the normal user & group lookups.
              Feel free to customize it or just use it as documentation to
              implement your own.

       numeric ids
              Enabling this parameter disables the mapping of users and
              groups by name for the current daemon module.  This prevents
              the daemon from trying to load any user/group-related files or
              libraries.  This enabling makes the transfer behave as if the
              client had passed the --numeric-ids command-line option.  By
              default, this parameter is enabled for chroot modules and
              disabled for non-chroot modules.  Also keep in mind that
              uid/gid preservation requires the module to be running as root
              (see "uid") or for "fake super" to be configured.

              A chroot-enabled module should not have this parameter set to
              false unless you're using a "name converter" program or you've
              taken steps to ensure that the module has the necessary
              resources it needs to translate names and that it is not
              possible for a user to change those resources.

       munge symlinks
              This parameter tells rsync to modify all symlinks in the same
              way as the (non-daemon-affecting) --munge-links command-line
              option (using a method described below).  This should help
              protect your files from user trickery when your daemon module
              is writable.  The default is disabled when "use chroot" is on
              with an inside-chroot path of "/", OR if "daemon chroot" is
              on, otherwise it is enabled.

              If you disable this parameter on a daemon that is not read-
              only, there are tricks that a user can play with uploaded
              symlinks to access daemon-excluded items (if your module has
              any), and, if "use chroot" is off, rsync can even be tricked
              into showing or changing data that is outside the module's
              path (as access-permissions allow).

              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 parameter is enabled, rsync will refuse to
              run if that path is a directory or a symlink to a directory.
              When using the "munge symlinks" parameter in a chroot area
              that has an inside-chroot path of "/", you should add
              "/rsyncd-munged/" to the exclude setting for the module so
              that a user can't try to create it.

              Note:  rsync makes no attempt to verify that any pre-existing
              symlinks in the module's hierarchy are as safe as you want
              them to be (unless, of course, it just copied in the whole
              hierarchy).  If you setup an rsync daemon on a new area or
              locally add symlinks, you can manually protect your symlinks
              from being abused by prefixing "/rsyncd-munged/" to the start
              of every symlink's value.  There is a perl script in the
              support directory of the source code named "munge-symlinks"
              that can be used to add or remove this prefix from your

              When this parameter is disabled on a writable module and "use
              chroot" is off (or the inside-chroot path is not "/"),
              incoming symlinks will be modified to drop a leading slash and
              to remove ".." path elements that rsync believes will allow a
              symlink to escape the module's hierarchy.  There are tricky
              ways to work around this, though, so you had better trust your
              users if you choose this combination of parameters.

              This specifies the name of the character set in which the
              module's filenames are stored.  If the client uses an --iconv
              option, the daemon will use the value of the "charset"
              parameter regardless of the character set the client actually
              passed.  This allows the daemon to support charset conversion
              in a chroot module without extra files in the chroot area, and
              also ensures that name-translation is done in a consistent
              manner.  If the "charset" parameter is not set, the --iconv
              option is refused, just as if "iconv" had been specified via
              "refuse options".

              If you wish to force users to always use --iconv for a
              particular module, add "no-iconv" to the "refuse options"
              parameter.  Keep in mind that this will restrict access to
              your module to very new rsync clients.

       max connections
              This parameter allows you to specify the maximum number of
              simultaneous connections you will allow.  Any clients
              connecting when the maximum has been reached will receive a
              message telling them to try later.  The default is 0, which
              means no limit.  A negative value disables the module.  See
              also the "lock file" parameter.

       log file
              When the "log file" parameter is set to a non-empty string,
              the rsync daemon will log messages to the indicated file
              rather than using syslog.  This is particularly useful on
              systems (such as AIX) where syslog() doesn't work for chrooted
              programs.  The file is opened before chroot() is called,
              allowing it to be placed outside the transfer.  If this value
              is set on a per-module basis instead of globally, the global
              log will still contain any authorization failures or config-
              file error messages.

              If the daemon fails to open the specified file, it will fall
              back to using syslog and output an error about the failure.
              (Note that the failure to open the specified log file used to
              be a fatal error.)

              This setting can be overridden by using the --log-file=FILE or
              --dparam=logfile=FILE command-line options.  The former
              overrides all the log-file parameters of the daemon and all
              module settings.  The latter sets the daemon's log file and
              the default for all the modules, which still allows modules to
              override the default setting.

       syslog facility
              This parameter allows you to specify the syslog facility name
              to use when logging messages from the rsync daemon. You may
              use any standard syslog facility name which is defined on your
              system. Common names are auth, authpriv, cron, daemon, ftp,
              kern, lpr, mail, news, security, syslog, user, uucp, local0,
              local1, local2, local3, local4, local5, local6 and local7.
              The default is daemon.  This setting has no effect if the "log
              file" setting is a non-empty string (either set in the per-
              modules settings, or inherited from the global settings).

       syslog tag
              This parameter allows you to specify the syslog tag to use
              when logging messages from the rsync daemon. The default is
              "rsyncd".  This setting has no effect if the "log file"
              setting is a non-empty string (either set in the per-modules
              settings, or inherited from the global settings).

              For example, if you wanted each authenticated user's name to
              be included in the syslog tag, you could do something like

                  syslog tag = rsyncd.%RSYNC_USER_NAME%

       max verbosity
              This parameter allows you to control the maximum amount of
              verbose information that you'll allow the daemon to generate
              (since the information goes into the log file). The default is
              1, which allows the client to request one level of verbosity.

              This also affects the user's ability to request higher levels
              of --info and --debug logging.  If the max value is 2, then no
              info and/or debug value that is higher than what would be set
              by -vv will be honored by the daemon in its logging.  To see
              how high of a verbosity level you need to accept for a
              particular info/debug level, refer to rsync --info=help and
              rsync --debug=help.  For instance, it takes max-verbosity 4 to
              be able to output debug TIME2 and FLIST3.

       lock file
              This parameter specifies the file to use to support the "max
              connections" parameter. The rsync daemon uses record locking
              on this file to ensure that the max connections limit is not
              exceeded for the modules sharing the lock file.  The default
              is /var/run/rsyncd.lock.

       read only
              This parameter determines whether clients will be able to
              upload files or not. If "read only" is true then any attempted
              uploads will fail. If "read only" is false then uploads will
              be possible if file permissions on the daemon side allow them.
              The default is for all modules to be read only.

              Note that "auth users" can override this setting on a per-user

       write only
              This parameter determines whether clients will be able to
              download files or not. If "write only" is true then any
              attempted downloads will fail. If "write only" is false then
              downloads will be possible if file permissions on the daemon
              side allow them.  The default is for this parameter to be

              Helpful hint: you probably want to specify "refuse options =
              delete" for a write-only module.

       open noatime
              When set to True, this parameter tells the rsync daemon 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.

              When set to False, this parameters ensures that files on the
              server are not opened with O_NOATIME.

              When set to Unset (the default) the user controls the setting
              via --open-noatime.

       list   This parameter determines whether this module is listed when
              the client asks for a listing of available modules.  In
              addition, if this is false, the daemon will pretend the module
              does not exist when a client denied by "hosts allow" or "hosts
              deny" attempts to access it.  Realize that if "reverse lookup"
              is disabled globally but enabled for the module, the resulting
              reverse lookup to a potentially client-controlled DNS server
              may still reveal to the client that it hit an existing module.
              The default is for modules to be listable.

       uid    This parameter specifies the user name or user ID that file
              transfers to and from that module should take place as when
              the daemon was run as root.  In combination with the "gid"
              parameter this determines what file permissions are available.
              The default when run by a super-user is to switch to the
              system's "nobody" user.  The default for a non-super-user is
              to not try to change the user.  See also the "gid" parameter.

              The RSYNC_USER_NAME environment variable may be used to
              request that rsync run as the authorizing user.  For example,
              if you want a rsync to run as the same user that was received
              for the rsync authentication, this setup is useful:

                  uid = %RSYNC_USER_NAME%
                  gid = *

       gid    This parameter specifies one or more group names/IDs that will
              be used when accessing the module.  The first one will be the
              default group, and any extra ones be set as supplemental
              groups.  You may also specify a "*" as the first gid in the
              list, which will be replaced by all the normal groups for the
              transfer's user (see "uid").  The default when run by a super-
              user is to switch to your OS's "nobody" (or perhaps "nogroup")
              group with no other supplementary groups.  The default for a
              non-super-user is to not change any group attributes (and
              indeed, your OS may not allow a non-super-user to try to
              change their group settings).

              The specified list is normally split into tokens based on
              spaces and commas.  However, if the list starts with a comma,
              then the list is only split on commas, which allows a group
              name to contain a space.  In either case any leading and/or
              trailing whitespace is removed from the tokens and empty
              tokens are ignored.

       daemon uid
              This parameter specifies a uid under which the daemon will
              run. The daemon usually runs as user root, and when this is
              left unset the user is left unchanged. See also the "uid"

       daemon gid
              This parameter specifies a gid under which the daemon will
              run. The daemon usually runs as group root, and when this is
              left unset, the group is left unchanged. See also the "gid"

       fake super
              Setting "fake super = yes" for a module causes the daemon side
              to behave as if the --fake-super command-line option had been
              specified.  This allows the full attributes of a file to be
              stored without having to have the daemon actually running as

       filter The daemon has its own filter chain that determines what files
              it will let the client access.  This chain is not sent to the
              client and is independent of any filters the client may have
              specified.  Files excluded by the daemon filter chain (daemon-
              excluded files) are treated as non-existent if the client
              tries to pull them, are skipped with an error message if the
              client tries to push them (triggering exit code 23), and are
              never deleted from the module.  You can use daemon filters to
              prevent clients from downloading or tampering with private
              administrative files, such as files you may add to support
              uid/gid name translations.

              The daemon filter chain is built from the "filter", "include
              from", "include", "exclude from", and "exclude" parameters, in
              that order of priority.  Anchored patterns are anchored at the
              root of the module.  To prevent access to an entire subtree,
              for example, "/secret", you must exclude everything in the
              subtree; the easiest way to do this is with a triple-star
              pattern like "/secret/***".

              The "filter" parameter takes a space-separated list of daemon
              filter rules, though it is smart enough to know not to split a
              token at an internal space in a rule (e.g. "- /foo - /bar" is
              parsed as two rules).  You may specify one or more merge-file
              rules using the normal syntax.  Only one "filter" parameter
              can apply to a given module in the config file, so put all the
              rules you want in a single parameter.  Note that per-directory
              merge-file rules do not provide as much protection as global
              rules, but they can be used to make --delete work better
              during a client download operation if the per-dir merge files
              are included in the transfer and the client requests that they
              be used.

              This parameter takes a space-separated list of daemon exclude
              patterns.  As with the client --exclude option, patterns can
              be qualified with "-" or "+" to explicitly indicate
              exclude/include.  Only one "exclude" parameter can apply to a
              given module.  See the "filter" parameter for a description of
              how excluded files affect the daemon.

              Use an "include" to override the effects of the "exclude"
              parameter.  Only one "include" parameter can apply to a given
              module.  See the "filter" parameter for a description of how
              excluded files affect the daemon.

       exclude from
              This parameter specifies the name of a file on the daemon that
              contains daemon exclude patterns, one per line.  Only one
              "exclude from" parameter can apply to a given module; if you
              have multiple exclude-from files, you can specify them as a
              merge file in the "filter" parameter.  See the "filter"
              parameter for a description of how excluded files affect the

       include from
              Analogue of "exclude from" for a file of daemon include
              patterns.  Only one "include from" parameter can apply to a
              given module.  See the "filter" parameter for a description of
              how excluded files affect the daemon.

       incoming chmod
              This parameter allows you to specify a set of comma-separated
              chmod strings that will affect the permissions of all incoming
              files (files that are being received by the daemon).  These
              changes happen after all other permission calculations, and
              this will even override destination-default and/or existing
              permissions when the client does not specify --perms.  See the
              description of the --chmod rsync option and the chmod(1)
              manpage for information on the format of this string.

       outgoing chmod
              This parameter allows you to specify a set of comma-separated
              chmod strings that will affect the permissions of all outgoing
              files (files that are being sent out from the daemon).  These
              changes happen first, making the sent permissions appear to be
              different than those stored in the filesystem itself.  For
              instance, you could disable group write permissions on the
              server while having it appear to be on to the clients.  See
              the description of the --chmod rsync option and the chmod(1)
              manpage for information on the format of this string.

       auth users
              This parameter specifies a comma and/or space-separated list
              of authorization rules.  In its simplest form, you list the
              usernames that will be allowed to connect to this module. The
              usernames do not need to exist on the local system. The rules
              may contain shell wildcard characters that will be matched
              against the username provided by the client for
              authentication. If "auth users" is set then the client will be
              challenged to supply a username and password to connect to the
              module. A challenge response authentication protocol is used
              for this exchange. The plain text usernames and passwords are
              stored in the file specified by the "secrets file" parameter.
              The default is for all users to be able to connect without a
              password (this is called "anonymous rsync").

              In addition to username matching, you can specify groupname
              matching via a '@' prefix.  When using groupname matching, the
              authenticating username must be a real user on the system, or
              it will be assumed to be a member of no groups.  For example,
              specifying "@rsync" will match the authenticating user if the
              named user is a member of the rsync group.

              Finally, options may be specified after a colon (:).  The
              options allow you to "deny" a user or a group, set the access
              to "ro" (read-only), or set the access to "rw" (read/write).
              Setting an auth-rule-specific ro/rw setting overrides the
              module's "read only" setting.

              Be sure to put the rules in the order you want them to be
              matched, because the checking stops at the first matching user
              or group, and that is the only auth that is checked.  For

                  auth users = joe:deny @guest:deny admin:rw @rsync:ro susan joe sam

              In the above rule, user joe will be denied access no matter
              what.  Any user that is in the group "guest" is also denied
              access.  The user "admin" gets access in read/write mode, but
              only if the admin user is not in group "guest" (because the
              admin user-matching rule would never be reached if the user is
              in group "guest").  Any other user who is in group "rsync"
              will get read-only access.  Finally, users susan, joe, and sam
              get the ro/rw setting of the module, but only if the user
              didn't match an earlier group-matching rule.

              If you need to specify a user or group name with a space in
              it, start your list with a comma to indicate that the list
              should only be split on commas (though leading and trailing
              whitespace will also be removed, and empty entries are just
              ignored).  For example:

                  auth users = , joe:deny, @Some Group:deny, admin:rw, @RO Group:ro

              See the description of the secrets file for how you can have
              per-user passwords as well as per-group passwords.  It also
              explains how a user can authenticate using their user password
              or (when applicable) a group password, depending on what rule
              is being authenticated.

              See also the section entitled "USING RSYNC-DAEMON FEATURES VIA
              A REMOTE SHELL CONNECTION" in rsync(1) for information on how
              handle an rsyncd.conf-level username that differs from the
              remote-shell-level username when using a remote shell to
              connect to an rsync daemon.

       secrets file
              This parameter specifies the name of a file that contains the
              username:password and/or @groupname:password pairs used for
              authenticating this module. This file is only consulted if the
              "auth users" parameter is specified.  The file is line-based
              and contains one name:password pair per line.  Any line has a
              hash (#) as the very first character on the line is considered
              a comment and is skipped.  The passwords can contain any
              characters but be warned that many operating systems limit the
              length of passwords that can be typed at the client end, so
              you may find that passwords longer than 8 characters don't

              The use of group-specific lines are only relevant when the
              module is being authorized using a matching "@groupname" rule.
              When that happens, the user can be authorized via either their
              "username:password" line or the "@groupname:password" line for
              the group that triggered the authentication.

              It is up to you what kind of password entries you want to
              include, either users, groups, or both.  The use of group
              rules in "auth users" does not require that you specify a
              group password if you do not want to use shared passwords.

              There is no default for the "secrets file" parameter, you must
              choose a name (such as /etc/rsyncd.secrets).  The file must
              normally not be readable by "other"; see "strict modes".  If
              the file is not found or is rejected, no logins for a "user
              auth" module will be possible.

       strict modes
              This parameter determines whether or not the permissions on
              the secrets file will be checked.  If "strict modes" is true,
              then the secrets file must not be readable by any user ID
              other than the one that the rsync daemon is running under.  If
              "strict modes" is false, the check is not performed.  The
              default is true.  This parameter was added to accommodate
              rsync running on the Windows operating system.

       hosts allow
              This parameter allows you to specify a list of comma- and/or
              whitespace-separated patterns that are matched against a
              connecting client's hostname and IP address.  If none of the
              patterns match, then the connection is rejected.

              Each pattern can be in one of six forms:

              o      a dotted decimal IPv4 address of the form a.b.c.d, or
                     an IPv6 address of the form a:b:c::d:e:f. In this case
                     the incoming machine's IP address must match exactly.

              o      an address/mask in the form ipaddr/n where ipaddr is
                     the IP address and n is the number of one bits in the
                     netmask.  All IP addresses which match the masked IP
                     address will be allowed in.

              o      an address/mask in the form ipaddr/maskaddr where
                     ipaddr is the IP address and maskaddr is the netmask in
                     dotted decimal notation for IPv4, or similar for IPv6,
                     e.g. ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:: instead of /64. All IP
                     addresses which match the masked IP address will be
                     allowed in.

              o      a hostname pattern using wildcards. If the hostname of
                     the connecting IP (as determined by a reverse lookup)
                     matches the wildcarded name (using the same rules as
                     normal unix filename matching), the client is allowed
                     in.  This only works if "reverse lookup" is enabled
                     (the default).

              o      a hostname. A plain hostname is matched against the
                     reverse DNS of the connecting IP (if "reverse lookup"
                     is enabled), and/or the IP of the given hostname is
                     matched against the connecting IP (if "forward lookup"
                     is enabled, as it is by default).  Any match will be
                     allowed in.

              o      an '@' followed by a netgroup name, which will match if
                     the reverse DNS of the connecting IP is in the
                     specified netgroup.

              Note IPv6 link-local addresses can have a scope in the address


              You can also combine "hosts allow" with "hosts deny" as a way
              to add exceptions to your deny list.  When both parameters are
              specified, the "hosts allow" parameter is checked first and a
              match results in the client being able to connect.  A non-
              allowed host is then matched against the "hosts deny" list to
              see if it should be rejected.  A host that does not match
              either list is allowed to connect.

              The default is no "hosts allow" parameter, which means all
              hosts can connect.

       hosts deny
              This parameter allows you to specify a list of comma- and/or
              whitespace-separated patterns that are matched against a
              connecting clients hostname and IP address. If the pattern
              matches then the connection is rejected. See the "hosts allow"
              parameter for more information.

              The default is no "hosts deny" parameter, which means all
              hosts can connect.

       reverse lookup
              Controls whether the daemon performs a reverse lookup on the
              client's IP address to determine its hostname, which is used
              for "hosts allow" & "hosts deny" checks and the "%h" log
              escape.  This is enabled by default, but you may wish to
              disable it to save time if you know the lookup will not return
              a useful result, in which case the daemon will use the name
              "UNDETERMINED" instead.

              If this parameter is enabled globally (even by default), rsync
              performs the lookup as soon as a client connects, so disabling
              it for a module will not avoid the lookup.  Thus, you probably
              want to disable it globally and then enable it for modules
              that need the information.

       forward lookup
              Controls whether the daemon performs a forward lookup on any
              hostname specified in an hosts allow/deny setting.  By default
              this is enabled, allowing the use of an explicit hostname that
              would not be returned by reverse DNS of the connecting IP.

       ignore errors
              This parameter tells rsyncd to ignore I/O errors on the daemon
              when deciding whether to run the delete phase of the transfer.
              Normally rsync skips the --delete step if any I/O errors have
              occurred in order to prevent disastrous deletion due to a
              temporary resource shortage or other I/O error. In some cases
              this test is counter productive so you can use this parameter
              to turn off this behavior.

       ignore nonreadable
              This tells the rsync daemon to completely ignore files that
              are not readable by the user. This is useful for public
              archives that may have some non-readable files among the
              directories, and the sysadmin doesn't want those files to be
              seen at all.

       transfer logging
              This parameter enables per-file logging of downloads and
              uploads in a format somewhat similar to that used by ftp
              daemons.  The daemon always logs the transfer at the end, so
              if a transfer is aborted, no mention will be made in the log

              If you want to customize the log lines, see the "log format"

       log format
              This parameter allows you to specify the format used for
              logging file transfers when transfer logging is enabled.  The
              format is a text string containing embedded single-character
              escape sequences prefixed with a percent (%) character.  An
              optional numeric field width may also be specified between the
              percent and the escape letter (e.g.  "%-50n %8l %07p").  In
              addition, one or more apostrophes may be specified prior to a
              numerical escape to indicate that the numerical value should
              be made more human-readable.  The 3 supported levels are the
              same as for the --human-readable command-line option, though
              the default is for human-readability to be off.  Each added
              apostrophe increases the level (e.g. "%''l %'b %f").

              The default log format is "%o %h [%a] %m (%u) %f %l", and a
              "%t [%p]" is always prefixed when using the "log file"
              parameter.  (A perl script that will summarize this default
              log format is included in the rsync source code distribution
              in the "support" subdirectory: rsyncstats.)

              The single-character escapes that are understood are as

              o      %a the remote IP address (only available for a daemon)

              o      %b the number of bytes actually transferred

              o      %B the permission bits of the file (e.g. rwxrwxrwt)

              o      %c the total size of the block checksums received for
                     the basis file (only when sending)

              o      %C the full-file checksum if it is known for the file.
                     For older rsync protocols/versions, the checksum was
                     salted, and is thus not a useful value (and is not
                     displayed when that is the case). For the checksum to
                     output for a file, either the --checksum option must be
                     in-effect or the file must have been transferred
                     without a salted checksum being used.  See the
                     --checksum-choice option for a way to choose the

              o      %f the filename (long form on sender; no trailing "/")

              o      %G the gid of the file (decimal) or "DEFAULT"

              o      %h the remote host name (only available for a daemon)

              o      %i an itemized list of what is being updated

              o      %l the length of the file in bytes

              o      %L the string "-> SYMLINK", "=> HARDLINK", or "" (where
                     SYMLINK or HARDLINK is a filename)

              o      %m the module name

              o      %M the last-modified time of the file

              o      %n the filename (short form; trailing "/" on dir)

              o      %o the operation, which is "send", "recv", or "del."
                     (the latter includes the trailing period)

              o      %p the process ID of this rsync session

              o      %P the module path

              o      %t the current date time

              o      %u the authenticated username or an empty string

              o      %U the uid of the file (decimal)

              For a list of what the characters mean that are output by
              "%i", see the --itemize-changes option in the rsync manpage.

              Note that some of the logged output changes when talking with
              older rsync versions.  For instance, deleted files were only
              output as verbose messages prior to rsync 2.6.4.

              This parameter allows you to override the clients choice for
              I/O timeout for this module. Using this parameter you can
              ensure that rsync won't wait on a dead client forever. The
              timeout is specified in seconds. A value of zero means no
              timeout and is the default. A good choice for anonymous rsync
              daemons may be 600 (giving a 10 minute timeout).

       refuse options
              This parameter allows you to specify a space-separated list of
              rsync command-line options that will be refused by your rsync
              daemon.  You may specify the full option name, its one-letter
              abbreviation, or a wild-card string that matches multiple
              options. Beginning in 3.2.0, you can also negate a match term
              by starting it with a "!".

              When an option is refused, the daemon prints an error message
              and exits.

              For example, this would refuse --checksum (-c) and all the
              various delete options:

                  refuse options = c delete

              The reason the above refuses all delete options is that the
              options imply --delete, and implied options are refused just
              like explicit options.

              The use of a negated match allows you to fine-tune your
              refusals after a wild-card, such as this:

                  refuse options = delete-* !delete-during

              Negated matching can also turn your list of refused options
              into a list of accepted options. To do this, begin the list
              with a "*" (to refuse all options) and then specify one or
              more negated matches to accept.  For example:

                  refuse options = * !a !v !compress*

              Don't worry that the "*" will refuse certain vital options
              such as --dry-run, --server, --no-iconv, --protect-args, etc.
              These important options are not matched by wild-card, so they
              must be overridden by their exact name.  For instance, if
              you're forcing iconv transfers you could use something like

                  refuse options = * no-iconv !a !v

              As an additional aid (beginning in 3.2.0), refusing (or
              "!refusing") the "a" or "archive"  option also affects all the
              options that the --archive option implies (-rdlptgoD), but
              only if the option  is matched explicitly (not using a
              wildcard). If you want to do something tricky, you can use
              "archive*" to avoid this side-effect, but keep in mind that no
              normal rsync client ever sends the actual archive option to
              the server.

              As an additional safety feature, the refusal of "delete" also
              refuses remove-source-files when the daemon is the sender; if
              you want the latter without the former, instead refuse
              "delete-*" as that refuses all the delete modes without
              affecting --remove-source-files. (Keep in mind that the
              client's --delete option typically results in --delete-

              When un-refusing delete options, you should either specify
              "!delete*" (to accept all delete options) or specify a limited
              set that includes "delete", such as:

                  refuse options = * !a !delete !delete-during

              ... whereas this accepts any delete option except --delete-

                  refuse options = * !a !delete* delete-after

              A note on refusing "compress" -- it is better to set the "dont
              compress" daemon parameter to "*" because that disables
              compression silently instead of returning an error that forces
              the client to remove the -z option.

              If you are un-refusing the compress option, you probably want
              to match "!compress*" so that you also accept the --compress-
              level option.

              Note that the "write-devices" option is refused by default,
              but can be explicitly accepted with "!write-devices".  The
              options "log-file" and "log-file-format" are forcibly refused
              and cannot be accepted.

              Here are all the options that are not matched by wild-cards:

              o      --server: Required for rsync to even work.

              o      --rsh, -e: Required to convey compatibility flags to
                     the server.

              o      --out-format: This is required to convey output
                     behavior to a remote receiver.  While rsync passes the
                     older alias --log-format for compatibility reasons,
                     this options should not be confused with --log-file-

              o      --sender: Use "write only" parameter instead of
                     refusing this.

              o      --dry-run, -n: Who would want to disable this?

              o      --protect-args, -s: This actually makes transfers

              o      --from0, -0: Makes it easier to accept/refuse --files-
                     from without affecting this helpful modifier.

              o      --iconv: This is auto-disabled based on "charset"

              o      --no-iconv: Most transfers use this option.

              o      --checksum-seed: Is a fairly rare, safe option.

              o      --write-devices: Is non-wild but also auto-disabled.

       dont compress
              This parameter allows you to select filenames based on
              wildcard patterns that should not be compressed when pulling
              files from the daemon (no analogous parameter exists to govern
              the pushing of files to a daemon).  Compression can be
              expensive in terms of CPU usage, so it is usually good to not
              try to compress files that won't compress well, such as
              already compressed files.

              The "dont compress" parameter takes a space-separated list of
              case-insensitive wildcard patterns. Any source filename
              matching one of the patterns will be compressed as little as
              possible during the transfer.  If the compression algorithm
              has an "off" level (such as zlib/zlibx) then no compression
              occurs for those files.  Other algorithms have the level
              minimized to reduces the CPU usage as much as possible.

              See the --skip-compress parameter in the rsync(1) manpage for
              the list of file suffixes that are not compressed by default.
              Specifying a value for the "dont compress" parameter changes
              the default when the daemon is the sender.

       early exec, pre-xfer exec, post-xfer exec
              You may specify a command to be run in the early stages of the
              connection, or right before and/or after the transfer.  If the
              early exec or pre-xfer exec command returns an error code, the
              transfer is aborted before it begins.  Any output from the
              pre-xfer exec command on stdout (up to several KB) will be
              displayed to the user when aborting, but is not displayed if
              the script returns success.  The other programs cannot send
              any text to the user.  All output except for the pre-xfer exec
              stdout goes to the corresponding daemon's stdout/stderr, which
              is typically discarded.  See the --no-detatch option for a way
              to see the daemon's output, which can assist with debugging.

              Note that the early exec command runs before any part of the
              transfer request is known except for the module name.  This
              helper script can be used to setup a disk mount or decrypt
              some data into a module dir, but you may need to use lock file
              and max connections to avoid concurrency issues.  If the
              client rsync specified the --early-input=FILE option, it can
              send up to about 5K of data to the stdin of the early script.
              The stdin will otherwise be empty.

              Note that the post-xfer exec command is still run even if one
              of the other scripts returns an error code. The pre-xfer exec
              command will not be run, however, if the early exec command

              The following environment variables will be set, though some
              are specific to the pre-xfer or the post-xfer environment:

              o      RSYNC_MODULE_NAME: The name of the module being

              o      RSYNC_MODULE_PATH: The path configured for the module.

              o      RSYNC_HOST_ADDR: The accessing host's IP address.

              o      RSYNC_HOST_NAME: The accessing host's name.

              o      RSYNC_USER_NAME: The accessing user's name (empty if no

              o      RSYNC_PID: A unique number for this transfer.

              o      RSYNC_REQUEST: (pre-xfer only) The module/path info
                     specified by the user.  Note that the user can specify
                     multiple source files, so the request can be something
                     like "mod/path1 mod/path2", etc.

              o      RSYNC_ARG#: (pre-xfer only) The pre-request arguments
                     are set in these numbered values. RSYNC_ARG0 is always
                     "rsyncd", followed by the options that were used in
                     RSYNC_ARG1, and so on.  There will be a value of "."
                     indicating that the options are done and the path args
                     are beginning -- these contain similar information to
                     RSYNC_REQUEST, but with values separated and the module
                     name stripped off.

              o      RSYNC_EXIT_STATUS: (post-xfer only) the server side's
                     exit value.  This will be 0 for a successful run, a
                     positive value for an error that the server generated,
                     or a -1 if rsync failed to exit properly.  Note that an
                     error that occurs on the client side does not currently
                     get sent to the server side, so this is not the final
                     exit status for the whole transfer.

              o      RSYNC_RAW_STATUS: (post-xfer only) the raw exit value
                     from waitpid().

              Even though the commands can be associated with a particular
              module, they are run using the permissions of the user that
              started the daemon (not the module's uid/gid setting) without
              any chroot restrictions.

              These settings honor 2 environment variables: use RSYNC_SHELL
              to set a shell to use when running the command (which
              otherwise uses your system() call's default shell), and use
              RSYNC_NO_XFER_EXEC to disable both options completely.


       There are currently two config directives available that allow a
       config file to incorporate the contents of other files:  &include and
       &merge.  Both allow a reference to either a file or a directory.
       They differ in how segregated the file's contents are considered to

       The &include directive treats each file as more distinct, with each
       one inheriting the defaults of the parent file, starting the
       parameter parsing as globals/defaults, and leaving the defaults
       unchanged for the parsing of the rest of the parent file.

       The &merge directive, on the other hand, treats the file's contents
       as if it were simply inserted in place of the directive, and thus it
       can set parameters in a module started in another file, can affect
       the defaults for other files, etc.

       When an &include or &merge directive refers to a directory, it will
       read in all the *.conf or *.inc files (respectively) that are
       contained inside that directory (without any recursive scanning),
       with the files sorted into alpha order.  So, if you have a directory
       named "rsyncd.d" with the files "foo.conf", "bar.conf", and
       "baz.conf" inside it, this directive:

           &include /path/rsyncd.d

       would be the same as this set of directives:

           &include /path/rsyncd.d/bar.conf
           &include /path/rsyncd.d/baz.conf
           &include /path/rsyncd.d/foo.conf

       except that it adjusts as files are added and removed from the

       The advantage of the &include directive is that you can define one or
       more modules in a separate file without worrying about unintended
       side-effects between the self-contained module files.

       The advantage of the &merge directive is that you can load config
       snippets that can be included into multiple module definitions, and
       you can also set global values that will affect connections (such as
       motd file), or globals that will affect other include files.

       For example, this is a useful /etc/rsyncd.conf file:

           port = 873
           log file = /var/log/rsync.log
           pid file = /var/lock/rsync.lock

           &merge /etc/rsyncd.d
           &include /etc/rsyncd.d

       This would merge any /etc/rsyncd.d/*.inc files (for global values
       that should stay in effect), and then include any
       /etc/rsyncd.d/*.conf files (defining modules without any global-value


       The authentication protocol used in rsync is a 128 bit MD4 based
       challenge response system. This is fairly weak protection, though
       (with at least one brute-force hash-finding algorithm publicly
       available), so if you want really top-quality security, then I
       recommend that you run rsync over ssh.  (Yes, a future version of
       rsync will switch over to a stronger hashing method.)

       Also note that the rsync daemon protocol does not currently provide
       any encryption of the data that is transferred over the connection.
       Only authentication is provided. Use ssh as the transport if you want

       You can also make use of SSL/TLS encryption if you put rsync behind
       an SSL proxy.

SSL/TLS Daemon Setup         top

       When setting up an rsync daemon for access via SSL/TLS, you will need
       to configure a proxy (such as haproxy or nginx) as the front-end that
       handles the encryption.

       o      You should limit the access to the backend-rsyncd port to only
              allow the proxy to connect.  If it is on the same host as the
              proxy, then configuring it to only listen on localhost is a
              good idea.

       o      You should consider turning on the proxy protocol parameter if
              your proxy supports sending that information.  The examples
              below assume that this is enabled.

       An example haproxy setup is as follows:

           frontend fe_rsync-ssl
              bind :::874 ssl crt /etc/letsencrypt/
              mode tcp
              use_backend be_rsync

           backend be_rsync
              mode tcp
              server local-rsync check send-proxy

       An example nginx proxy setup is as follows:

           stream {
              server {
                  listen 874 ssl;
                  listen [::]:874 ssl;

                  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/;
                  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/;

                  proxy_pass localhost:873;
                  proxy_protocol on; # Requires "proxy protocol = true"
                  proxy_timeout 1m;
                  proxy_connect_timeout 5s;

EXAMPLES         top

       A simple rsyncd.conf file that allow anonymous rsync to a ftp area at
       /home/ftp would be:

                   path = /home/ftp
                   comment = ftp export area

       A more sophisticated example would be:

           uid = nobody
           gid = nobody
           use chroot = yes
           max connections = 4
           syslog facility = local5
           pid file = /var/run/

                   path = /var/ftp/./pub
                   comment = whole ftp area (approx 6.1 GB)

                   path = /var/ftp/./pub/samba
                   comment = Samba ftp area (approx 300 MB)

                   path = /var/ftp/./pub/rsync
                   comment = rsync ftp area (approx 6 MB)

                   path = /public_html/samba
                   comment = Samba WWW pages (approx 240 MB)

                   path = /data/cvs
                   comment = CVS repository (requires authentication)
                   auth users = tridge, susan
                   secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets

       The /etc/rsyncd.secrets file would look something like this:


FILES         top

       /etc/rsyncd.conf or rsyncd.conf

SEE ALSO         top

       rsync(1), rsync-ssl(1)

BUGS         top

       Please report bugs! The rsync bug tracking system is online at

VERSION         top

       This man page is current for version 3.2.3 of rsync.

CREDITS         top

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

       The primary ftp site for rsync is

       A web site is available at

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

       This program uses the zlib compression library written by Jean-loup
       Gailly and Mark Adler.

THANKS         top

       Thanks to Warren Stanley for his original idea and patch for the
       rsync daemon.  Thanks to Karsten Thygesen for his many suggestions
       and documentation!

AUTHOR         top

       rsync was written by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras.  Many people
       have later contributed to it.

       Mailing lists for support and development are available at

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 ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see ⟨⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the tarball fetched from
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-08-13.  If you dis‐
       cover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
       believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or
       you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
       COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail

rsyncd.conf 3.2.3                06 Aug 2020                  rsyncd.conf(5)

Pages that refer to this page: rsync(1)rsync-ssl(1)