how rsync works

John Van Essen vanes002 at
Tue Nov 25 02:14:56 EST 2003

On Sun, 26 Oct 2003, jw schultz <jw at> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 16, 2003 at 03:49:45AM -0700, jw schultz wrote:
>> Aside from numerous other weaknesses that have crept into
>> the manpage i do note that there doesn't seem to be any
>> point where it is mentioned that rsync replaces destination
>> files rather than updating them in-place.  I'm not sure
>> where it would go in the current manpage.
>> I'm no writer but i have been toying with the idea of a
>> practical "how the rsync utility works for the
>> non-mathematician" document.  This wouldn't be a how-to but
>> would instead describe in broad terms what the rsync
>> internals are doing, the three processes involved and a
>> general sketch of the protocol.  Something that wouldn't be
>> obsoleted by enhancements.
> OK.  Having receive tepid encouragement i have produced a
> first-draft of the document.
> As i said "I'm no writer", this document no doubt has
> structural defects and gaping holes as well as being worded
> strangely.  I invite constructive comments and patches (on
> list) but if someone else wants to pick up the ball and run
> with it i would be pleased to hand it off.
> I have formatted it in HTML so if you care it can
> be found at

I think a document such as this would be very helpful.

I looked at it soon after it was announced, but now it's not there
anymore.  Where'd it go?
        John Van Essen  Univ of MN Alumnus  <vanes002 at>

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