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Get to know rsync

Jan 07, 2010, 22:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

"One of the handiest tools you'll ever have on Linux (and other *nix systems) is rsync. As the name implies, rsync is used to sync files on remote and local machines. You can use rsync to copy files to remote systems and back again, or to make backups to locally mounted hard drives. A quick glance at the man page might be a bit intimidating, though, so let's walk through some of the most commonly used options and see if rsync is right for you.

"One word of caution before beginning: As an effective tool, rsync is great at moving data from one machine to another. If used incorrectly, though, it can also be an effective tool at overwriting data or deleting files. Be mindful of the fact that once files are deleted on Linux they're very hard if not impossible to recover, and that's probably the opposite of what you're trying to accomplish.

"The first time you get ready to run an rsync command, particularly the first few times out, you might want to make use of the -n option (also --dry-run if you prefer the more verbose option name). This is to run through a trial run with no actual changes made."

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