rsync transferring identical files

Wayne Davison wayned at
Wed Jul 12 14:46:59 GMT 2006

On Mon, Jul 10, 2006 at 09:05:30PM +0100, Ben Pirt wrote:
> I changed a few of the files and ran it again and now it seems to be
> transferring all of the files again, even the ones that haven't been
> changed.

Are you sure you got exactly the same command?  Something like an added
or removed trailing slash or an added or removed --relative option could
mean that you're unintentionally copying files to a new location.

The best way to check what rsync thinks it is doing is to use the -i
(--itemize) option.  This will show if rsync is creating new files
(which are displayed with all + chars), OR, if it is updating a file,
exactly what rsync thinks is different about the file (it will also
show non-transfer file adjustments, so look for the files prefixed
with a > or a < if you want to know what files are being transferred).
You'll see a 't' (time) in the itemized display if rsync thinks the
timestamps are different.

> The servers are in different timezones, but from what I have read
> this shouldn't matter.

Right.  There are cases where a filesystem that stores files with the
local time instead of GMT can cause a problem, but that shouldn't cause
a problem at this time of year.  There are also some file systems that
can't hold an odd time-stamp value (e.g. FAT), so if you're copying to
such a filesystem, you should use --modify-window=1 to have it treat
such off-by-one timestamps as the same value.


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