20+ Rsync command’s switches and common usages with examples – Unix/Linux

The “rsync” is a powerful command under the Linux environment.

The rsync stands for Remote Sync. Normally rsync is used to transfer file from one server(source) to another server(destination).

rsync has a lot of switches or option for managing the command much usefully. Here I am explaining the switches of rsync command with examples.

Rsync will actually look and see what in the file has changed and upload only the part of the file that has changed. Unlike ftp and other transfer solutions rsync doesn’t simply re-upload the entire file.

Common Syntax for Rsync:

# rsync [options] Source Destinations. 

Switches of rsync:

1, -v, –verbose

Increase verbosity.

Example:

I’ve created a file ‘rsync’ under ‘/root/Rsync/’ for testing purpose.

[email protected] [~]# rsync -v /root/Rsync/rsync .
rsync

sent 65 bytes  received 31 bytes  192.00 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00

2, -r, –recursive

Recurse into directories.

3, -l, –links

Copy symlinks as symlinks.

4, -p, –perms

Preserve permissions.

5, -t, –times

Preserve modification times.

6, -g, –group

Preserve group.

7, -o, –owner

preserve owner (super-user only)

8, -D

Same as –devices –specials.

–devices : preserve device files (super-user only).
–specials : preserve special files.

9, -H, –hard-links

Preserve hard links

10, -A, –acls

Preserve ACLs (implies –perms)

11, -X, –xattrs

Preserve extended attributes

12, -a, –archive

This is very important rsync switch, because it can be done the functions of some other switches combinations.

Archive mode; equals -rlptgoD (no -H,-A,-X)

13, -q, –quiet

Suppress non-error messages.

14, To specify the file size for sync:

–max-size=SIZE

Don’t transfer any file larger than SIZE
–min-size=SIZE

Don’t transfer any file smaller than SIZE

15, –delete

Delete extraneous files from destination dirs.

16, W, –whole-file

Copy files whole (without delta-xfer algorithm)

17, -u, –update

Skip files that are newer on the receiver. Means, Do Not Overwrite the Modified Files at the Destination.

18, –progress

View the rsync Progress during Transfer.

19, Include and Exclude Pattern.

–include
–exclude

Patterns are expressed in single quote.

Examples:

[[email protected] crybit]# rsync -avz --include 'c*' --exclude '*' /root/crybit/ 109.200.11.67:/root/Rsinc101
[email protected]'s password:
stdin: is not a tty
sending incremental file list
cry1.doc
cry2.doc
cry3.doc
cry4.doc
cry5.doc

sent 267 bytes  received 107 bytes  68.00 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00

In the above example files starting with ‘c’ are included for Rsync and all other files are excluded on Rsync operation.

20 -e : Rsync over Shell(SSH)

Syntax:

# rsync -avz -e ssh Source Destination 

Some useful switches combinations and Useful “Rsync” examples:

If the destination server has a different SSH port, you need to know this command to connect and Rsync files from that server. More details

1, How to Sync two directories in the same machine ?

I have created two directories(also some files inside each dir) under /root location to check the rsync usages.

/root/Rsync1/
/root/Rsync2/

Example:

[email protected] [~]# rsync -zvr /root/Rsync1/ /root/Rsync2/
sending incremental file list
rsync1.txt
rsync10.txt
rsync2.txt
rsync3.txt
......
......
sent 502 bytes  received 202 bytes  1408.00 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00

Where,
-z is to enable compression
-v verbose
-r indicates recursive

2, Preserve the following option while Sync files using -a switch.

r, l, p, t, g, o, D : Switch details are mentioned in the above section.
Recursive mode, symbolic links, permissions, timestamp, owner and group 

See the example below:

[email protected] [~]# ll /root/Rsync1/rsync10.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Feb 17 07:40 /root/Rsync1/rsync10.txt
[email protected] [~]#  ll /root/Rsync2/rsync10.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Feb 17 07:40 /root/Rsync2/rsync10.txt

3, How to Rsync files from remote server to local ?

It is quit similar to SCP, the syntax for doing the same is pasted below:

# rsync -azv Remote-IP:/path/for/Sync /Path/to/Sync

Some examples:

Sync the directory from remote to local

[[email protected] crybit]# rsync -azv MY.SERVER.IP:/root/Rsync1 /root/crybit/
[email protected]'s password:
stdin: is not a tty
receiving incremental file list
Rsync1/
Rsync1/rsync1.txt
Rsync1/rsync10.txt
Rsync1/rsync2.txt
Rsync1/rsync3.txt
.....
.....
sent 205 bytes  received 527 bytes  77.05 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00

Sync all files from remote to local

[[email protected] crybit]# rsync -azv 109.200.11.67:/root/Rsync1/* /root/crybit/
[email protected]'s password:
stdin: is not a tty
receiving incremental file list
rsync1.txt
rsync10.txt
rsync2.txt
rsync3.txt
...
...
sent 201 bytes  received 499 bytes  93.33 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00

4, How to sync files from local to remote server ?

Syntax:

# rsync -azv /local-path/for/Sync/  Remote-IP:/path/to/Sync

Examples:

[[email protected] crybit]# rsync -avz /root/crybit/ 109.200.11.67:/root/Rsinc101
[email protected]'s password:
stdin: is not a tty
sending incremental file list
created directory /root/Rsinc101
./
rsync1.txt
rsync10.txt
rsync2.txt
rsync3.txt
...
...
sent 1028 bytes  received 399 bytes  190.27 bytes/sec
total size is 0  speedup is 0.00
Note 1 : In example 3 and 4 you can use [email protected]:/path format, if you have only the user privilege on server
Note 2 : The rsync will automatically create the destination directory/location if it isn't there.

That’s it !! 🙂

Related:
groupdel, groupmems, groupmod, useradd , usermod , chgrp, chown, ls, head, tail, top, ps, find, crontab, ftp commands, tar, rpm

 

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Arunlal Ashok

Linux Systems Architect at Endurance International Group. I know her (Linux) since many years. Linux lover. Like to play on Linux console. I started this blog to share and discuss Linux thoughts.

Always happy for an open discussion! Write to arun (@) crybit (dot) com. Check about me for more details. About this blog and our strong members, check The team CryBit.com

3 thoughts on “20+ Rsync command’s switches and common usages with examples – Unix/Linux

  1. I notice you left out the -c,–checksum option as well as mention of –dry-run and –delete. Our typical usage starts with rsync -azvc ./ remotehost:foo/ –delete –dry-run so that one can be sure one is in the correct place, and look over the changes and deletions before actually comitting them by removing –dry-run.

    later after the initial sync, when more rapid fire updates are happening, we’ll leave off -c in favor of speed to save time on checksumming all the files every time you sync.

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