rsync feature suggestion

Justin Banks justinb at
Fri Jan 3 17:52:01 EST 2003

Max Bowsher wrote
> Hadmut Danisch wrote:
> > I'd like to suggest a new feature to rsync.
> > I am mirroring a debian archive, but unfortunately,
> > debian mixes all files of several distributions in a
> > subtree /pool. There is no way to select only the files
> > of a certain distribution through a simple exclude/include
> > expression.
> >
> > There is a tool called debmirror, which first downloads
> > the distribution index files, extracts all the filenames/paths
> > of the files needed and then calls rsync for every single file.
> > Thats certainly not useful, especially since rsync shows the
> > servers motd for every single file.
> I was about to suggest:
> $ rsync --include-from=list-file --exclude=\*
> but of course that will exclude the parent directories of files you want,
> causing them to be ignored.
> This might work:
> $ rsync --include-from=list-file --include=\*\*/ --exclude=\*
> although it will mirror the entire directory structure (but not unspecified
> files).
> Probably, rsync should be taught that: "If I explicitly include a file, look
> for it explicitly, even if I've excluded a parent directory."

Not too long ago, I modified/mangled rsync to do

rsync --files-from /some/file --include-regexes /some/regular/expressions \
  --exclude-regexes /some/regular/expressions

such that all the files in /some/file would be sent iff they matched the
posix regexes in --include-regexes and didn't match the ones in 
--exclude-regexes (if present).

I don't have a wide variety of platforms to test it on, but it worked okay
on linux, solaris, and irix.


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