rsync options

by Rafael Beraldo

rsync is a wonderful program. Three days ago, I forgot to use it and used scp instead to transfer the files of this blog from my netbook to the server, destroying my piwik installation in the process. In my defense, it was 7 am and I was in a hurry to upload the first post on the Linux Crypto series.

I learned my lesson and used rsync to transfer the subsequent changes. It has so many options, though, that I'm never sure what to use. To help me with that, I wrote them down on my Moleskine notebook and came up with a mnemonics. Here's what I use:

rsync -zarc source destination

where -z is --compress, -a is --archive, -r is --recursive and -c is --checksum. According to man rsync, --archive “ensures that symbolic links, devices, attributes, permissions, ownerships, etc. are preserved in the transfer”. It is a shorthand for -rLptgoD!

The mnemonics is pretty simple:

zombies are really careless