Synchronizing two folders

tim.conway at tim.conway at
Wed Oct 2 18:05:01 EST 2002

there are two ways to make two directories identical with rsync.
run it both directions
run it in the direction you want the changes to move in, and use --delete 
to remove things on the destination that aren't on the source.
The first one has the disadvantage that nothing ever goes away, unless you 
manually remove things on both sides.
The second one has the disadvantage that anything added on the destination 
goes away.
The second way is the more rsync-suited solution.  Trying to maintain two 
disconnected copies of a file structure, allowing concurrent changes on 
both ends, is non-deterministic.  sure, you could use -u, and get just the 
newest changes, but what about the changes made on the other end at the 
same time?

unison ( is safer for that sort 
of work.  It uses some of rsync's optimizations, but is time-aware, I 
think.  If something has changed on both sides since the last sync, the 
change is not propogated, and comes up in an exception list of some sort, 
for manual reconciliation.

Tim Conway
conway.tim at reorder name and reverse domain
303.682.4917 office, 303.921.0301 cell
Philips Semiconductor - Longmont TC
1880 Industrial Circle, Suite D
Longmont, CO 80501
Available via SameTime Connect within Philips, caesupport2 on AIM
"There are some who call me.... Tim?"

Tito Ciuro <tciuro at>
Sent by: rsync-admin at
10/02/2002 02:13 AM

        To:     rsync at
        cc:     (bcc: Tim Conway/LMT/SC/PHILIPS)
        Subject:        Synchronizing two folders


I'm quite new to rsync, and after reading and checking some examples I 
still have a question regarding synchronization:

What arguments should I use if I want to synchronize two folders?

I need to make sure that after synchronization, contents on each side 
are the same. If I have new files in folder #2, these aren't copied to 
folder #1 after the process. It only passes files one way (folder #1 
--> folder #2)

Any ideas?

Thanks so much,

-- Tito

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