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How to Backup Linux? 15 rsync Command Examples

05/04/2016 Comments off

rsync stands for remote sync.

rsync is used to perform the backup operation in UNIX / Linux.

rsync utility is used to synchronize the files and directories from one location to another in an effective way. Backup location could be on local server or on remote server.

Important features of rsync

  • Speed: First time, rsync replicates the whole content between the source and destination directories. Next time, rsync transfers only the changed blocks or bytes to the destination location, which makes the transfer really fast.
  • Security: rsync allows encryption of data using ssh protocol during transfer.
  • Less Bandwidth: rsync uses compression and decompression of data block by block at the sending and receiving end respectively. So the bandwidth used by rsync will be always less compared to other file transfer protocols.
  • Privileges: No special privileges are required to install and execute rsync

Syntax

$ rsync options source destination

Source and destination could be either local or remote. In case of remote, specify the login name, remote server name and location.

Example 1. Synchronize Two Directories in a Local Server

To sync two directories in a local computer, use the following rsync -zvr command.

$ rsync -zvr /var/opt/installation/inventory/ /root/temp
building file list ... done
sva.xml
svB.xml
.
sent 26385 bytes  received 1098 bytes  54966.00 bytes/sec
total size is 44867  speedup is 1.63
$

In the above rsync example:

  • -z is to enable compression
  • -v verbose
  • -r indicates recursive

Now let us see the timestamp on one of the files that was copied from source to destination. As you see below, rsync didn’t preserve timestamps during sync.

$ ls -l /var/opt/installation/inventory/sva.xml /root/temp/sva.xml
-r--r--r-- 1 bin  bin  949 Jun 18  2009 /var/opt/installation/inventory/sva.xml
-r--r--r-- 1 root bin  949 Sep  2  2009 /root/temp/sva.xml

Example 2. Preserve timestamps during Sync using rsync -a

rsync option -a indicates archive mode. -a option does the following,

  • Recursive mode
  • Preserves symbolic links
  • Preserves permissions
  • Preserves timestamp
  • Preserves owner and group

Now, executing the same command provided in example 1 (But with the rsync option -a) as shown below:

$ rsync -azv /var/opt/installation/inventory/ /root/temp/
building file list ... done
./
sva.xml
svB.xml
.
sent 26499 bytes  received 1104 bytes  55206.00 bytes/sec
total size is 44867  speedup is 1.63
$

As you see below, rsync preserved timestamps during sync.

$ ls -l /var/opt/installation/inventory/sva.xml /root/temp/sva.xml
-r--r--r-- 1 root  bin  949 Jun 18  2009 /var/opt/installation/inventory/sva.xml
-r--r--r-- 1 root  bin  949 Jun 18  2009 /root/temp/sva.xml

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