Help with complicated heirarchy exclude syntax

reader at reader at
Sat Dec 22 16:09:32 GMT 2007

I want rsync to do this:
Backup  all files under ~/, except in some cases.

When rsync gets to ~/News, which has an extensive, fluctuating and
deep heirarchy of directories under it.  An example might be:


I want to skip any files that have all numbers for names which would
be under the last directory above.  However there are at least 2 files
in there (.overview .agentview) that I do want rsync to get.

But when rsnyc gets to ~/Mail, which has a much shallower heirarchy
with files that have numbers for names, I want to backup all those and
anywhere else rsync finds files with numbers for names under ~/.

Its a tall order.  I've been ducking it with various other schemes but
would really like to get something like that to work instead of
running several rsync backups schemes against ~/.

How can I tell rsync to go to the bottom of a heirarchy skipping any
files with numbers for names but retrieving .[oa]*view

Yet not skip files with numbers for names anywhere else.

Further, how would I define files with numbers for names?


would be a couple of ways but even there one might get something like:


Either of those definitions would actually be mostly ok since files
named as I've shown are very unlikely to occur there but still needing
a more precise way to define files like 1, 12, 123, 12345 etc with one
pattern comes up fairly often.

As I understand it, exclude files do not understand regular

It appears rsync has complicated options in exclude and filter rules
that suggest I might sprinkle more exclude files throughout the

That might work but I don't know what directories might be created
under that heirarchy and it changes fairly often so the .filter files
would need to be fairly shallow where things are permanent.

Further I didn't understand from the man page how the merge-dir and
filter files actually work or what they need to look like.

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