a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool
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.
This tells rsync to copy directories recursively. See also --dirs (-d).
Beginning with rsync 3.0.0, the recursive algorithm used is now an incremental scan that uses much
less memory than before and begins the transfer after the scanning of the first few directories
have been completed. This incremental scan only affects our recursion algorithm, and does not
change a non-recursive transfer. It is also only possible when both ends of the transfer are at
least version 3.0.0.
Some options require rsync to know the full file list, so these options disable the incremental
recursion mode. These include: --delete-before, --delete-after, --prune-empty-dirs, and
--delay-updates. Because of this, the default delete mode when you specify --delete is now
--delete-during when both ends of the connection are at least 3.0.0 (use --del or --delete-during
to request this improved deletion mode explicitly). See also the --delete-delay option that is a
better choice than using --delete-after.
Incremental recursion can be disabled using the --no-inc-recursive option or its shorter --no-i-r
Output numbers in a more human-readable format. This makes big numbers output using larger units,
with a K, M, or G suffix. If this option was specified once, these units are K (1000), M
(1000*1000), and G (1000*1000*1000); if the option is repeated, the units are powers of 1024
instead of 1000.
This tells rsync to transfer modification times along with the files and update them on the remote
system. Note that if this option is not used, the optimization that excludes files that have not
been modified cannot be effective; in other words, a missing -t or -a will cause the next transfer
to behave as if it used -I, causing all files to be updated (though rsync’s delta-transfer
algorithm will make the update fairly efficient if the files haven’t actually changed, you’re much
better off using -t).
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
This option is a simplified form of the --filter option that defaults to an exclude rule and does
not allow the full rule-parsing syntax of normal filter rules.
See the FILTER RULES section for detailed information on this option.