a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool
This is equivalent to -rlptgoD. It is a quick way of saying you want recursion and want to
preserve almost everything (with -H being a notable omission). The only exception to the above
equivalence is when --files-from is specified, in which case -r is not implied.
Note that -a does not preserve hardlinks, because finding multiply-linked files is expensive. You
must separately specify -H.
This option increases the amount of information you are given during the transfer. By default,
rsync works silently. A single -v will give you information about what files are being transferred
and a brief summary at the end. Two -v options will give you information on what files are being
skipped and slightly more information at the end. More than two -v options should only be used if
you are debugging rsync.
Note that the names of the transferred files that are output are done using a default --out-format
of "%n%L", which tells you just the name of the file and, if the item is a link, where it points.
At the single -v level of verbosity, this does not mention when a file gets its attributes
changed. If you ask for an itemized list of changed attributes (either --itemize-changes or
adding "%i" to the --out-format setting), the output (on the client) increases to mention all
items that are changed in any way. See the --out-format option for more details.
With this option, rsync compresses the file data as it is sent to the destination machine, which
reduces the amount of data being transmitted -- something that is useful over a slow connection.
Note that this option typically achieves better compression ratios than can be achieved by using a
compressing remote shell or a compressing transport because it takes advantage of the implicit
information in the matching data blocks that are not explicitly sent over the connection.
See the --skip-compress option for the default list of file suffixes that will not be compressed.
This option allows you to choose an alternative remote shell program to use for communication
between the local and remote copies of rsync. Typically, rsync is configured to use ssh by
default, but you may prefer to use rsh on a local network.
If this option is used with [user@]host::module/path, then the remote shell COMMAND will be used
to run an rsync daemon on the remote host, and all data will be transmitted through that remote
shell connection, rather than through a direct socket connection to a running rsync daemon on the
remote host. See the section "USING RSYNC-DAEMON FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL CONNECTION" above.
Command-line arguments are permitted in COMMAND provided that COMMAND is presented to rsync as a
single argument. You must use spaces (not tabs or other whitespace) to separate the command and
args from each other, and you can use single- and/or double-quotes to preserve spaces in an
argument (but not backslashes). Note that doubling a single-quote inside a single-quoted string
gives you a single-quote; likewise for double-quotes (though you need to pay attention to which
quotes your shell is parsing and which quotes rsync is parsing). Some examples:
-e 'ssh -p 2234'
-e 'ssh -o "ProxyCommand nohup ssh firewall nc -w1 %h %p"'
(Note that ssh users can alternately customize site-specific connect options in their .ssh/config
You can also choose the remote shell program using the RSYNC_RSH environment variable, which
accepts the same range of values as -e.
See also the --blocking-io option which is affected by this option.
This tells rsync to delete extraneous files from the receiving side (ones that aren’t on the
sending side), but only for the directories that are being synchronized. You must have asked
rsync to send the whole directory (e.g. "dir" or "dir/") without using a wildcard for the
directory’s contents (e.g. "dir/*") since the wildcard is expanded by the shell and rsync thus
gets a request to transfer individual files, not the files’ parent directory. Files that are
excluded from the transfer are also excluded from being deleted unless you use the
--delete-excluded option or mark the rules as only matching on the sending side (see the
include/exclude modifiers in the FILTER RULES section).
Prior to rsync 2.6.7, this option would have no effect unless --recursive was enabled. Beginning
with 2.6.7, deletions will also occur when --dirs (-d) is enabled, but only for directories whose
contents are being copied.
This option can be dangerous if used incorrectly! It is a very good idea to first try a run using
the --dry-run option (-n) to see what files are going to be deleted.
If the sending side detects any I/O errors, then the deletion of any files at the destination will
be automatically disabled. This is to prevent temporary filesystem failures (such as NFS errors)
on the sending side from causing a massive deletion of files on the destination. You can override
this with the --ignore-errors option.
The --delete option may be combined with one of the --delete-WHEN options without conflict, as
well as --delete-excluded. However, if none of the --delete-WHEN options are specified, rsync
will choose the --delete-during algorithm when talking to rsync 3.0.0 or newer, and the
--delete-before algorithm when talking to an older rsync. See also --delete-delay and