rsync transferring and synchronizing files directories

rsync files folders deploy

Let’s create a testrsync directory and inside it make two other directories.

mkdir testrsync
cd testrsync/
mkdir foo bar

Generate a large amount of dummy files inside ./foo directory by:

for i in `seq 1 100`;do touch ./foo/file$i;done

We have 100 files in foo directory while in bar still have none.

when we are in testrsync dirctory we can do :

rsync ./foo/* ./bar

to copy all of the files from./foo over to./bar:

Let’s create Zoo directory inside ./foo.

and again run the above command. It won’t be transferred.

We need to use the -r flag (–recursive) to traverse the directory, transferring every file inside:

rsync -r ./foo/ ./bar

Create a symlink to one file in ./foo,

ln -s file99 file999

and then use rsync to recursively copy all files:

We see that rsync has omitted the symlink we created.

This time use the -a flag:

rsync -a ./foo/ ./bar

There are flags to preserve permissions, ownerships, groups, symlinks, and so on. Because these flags are so often used, the -a (–archive) flag acts as an alias to incorporate them all, including -r.

So the -a (–archive) flag is an alias for a collection of other flags,

-a is equal to all -rltpgoD , each flag does the following:

r - Recursive

l - Transfer any symlinks encountered

t - Preserve time stamps

p - Preserve permissions

g -Preserve groups

o -Preserve ownership

D - Preserve block and character devices

You may want to add the following to your command for easier to read file sizes:

h — Human-readable format of file sizes

v (–verbose) flag will give you more output about the state of the transfer, including a summary at the end, which will look something like this:

q (–quiet) will suppress all output, which can be used for scripts when feedback is not required.

More Options

rsync comes with a large list of available options:


Exclude files based on a pattern. Rsync doesn’t support regex yet, so only standard file matching and globbing work


Exclude files listed in a line-separated file


Update files at the destination ONLY if the source copy has been modified more recently


Delete files on the destination ONLY if the source copy no longer exists.

Posting daily about Python, Nuclear Physicist PhD

Posting daily about Python, Nuclear Physicist PhD