"If you work with both a laptop and a desktop computer,
you know you have to synchronize the machines to keep them up to
date. In addition, you probably want to run the synchronization not
only at your home but also from a remote site; in my case, whenever
I travel with my laptop, I make sure that whatever I do on it gets
backed up to my desktop computer. (Losing your laptop and thereby
losing all your work isn't nice at all!) Many solutions to this
problem exist: This article introduces one such tool-rsync-and
mentions several related tools, all of which provide easy
"What is rsync?
"The rsync utility is a file-transfer and synchronization
program widely available for Linux® and UNIX and even ported to
Windows. Its key feature is a very fast algorithm that just sends
file differences over the data link, thus minimizing the total data
flow between machines. (If you use the File Transfer Protocol [FTP]
or utilities such as rcp or scp, complete files will be sent, even
if just one byte has changed.) Of course, rsync isn't limited to
existing files: It can also deal with files and directories that
might be present only at one end of the link. Finally,
communications are optimized by compressing data, so you can use
the tool even without a broadband connection."
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