rsync anti-FUD

Martin Pool mbp at
Thu Jul 18 18:37:02 EST 2002

On 18 Jul 2002, Paul Nendick <pnendick at> wrote:
> I'm working on a commercial project that would benefit immensely from
> the use of rsync.  However, I cannot convince management that rsync is a
> worthy tool due to the rote "it's shareware, it's not supported" FUD.  
> Are there any documented, corportate users of rsync? Testimonials?  In
> short, how do I drag this risk-averse group out of the FTP age into the
> rsync present?

I work for HP.  We use it extensively, indeed so much so that it would
probably be impossible to count the number of users.  If you want
support, I'm sure HP's consulting group would be interested in helping
you out and very capable.  If you do not already have an account
manager there, I can find somebody good for you to speak to.  They can
probably produce a nice pointyhead-friendly Powerpoint slideshow about
the strengths of open source :-)

rsync is a mature product, with many established users.  As other
people have said, it is the de-facto standard for filesystem

rsync's stability means that new features do not go in very fast,
however there is active work on extending it to new areas and
capabilities, including xdelta, Unison, librsync, rzync, lift, pysync,
and others.  As far as I know, there is no new work going into FTP as
a protocol, although people are doing some nice work on
implementation, such as ProFTPd.  So you need not fear rsync leading
you into a dead end.

One of the nice things about open source is that you are not locked in
to a single provider.  If, at some time during the project, you decide
you want to pay for commercial support, you can do so.  If you do pay
for commercial support and it turns out that you're not happy with the
company you can change.

rsync is not shareware anyhow; it is Free Software, or, if you prefer,
Open Source Software.  Shareware is sometimes the worst of both worlds
-- half-hearted support, but no opportunity to fix things yourself or
seek alternative help.

I don't know what FTP implementation you're using, but I suspect most
of them will be either open source, shareware (on Windows), or a thin
veneer of Unix-vendor gloss on an old BSD implementation.

A good way to proceed might be to post a brief description of what it
is you want to do to the list.  I'm sure several people will be able
to tell you "that's easy", "that's possible", or "rsync's not the
right tool."  Drawing on the freely-available resource of experienced
users is probably the best thing you can do to reduce risk.


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