Newbie question.

William D. Tallman wtallman at
Sat Mar 10 21:29:45 GMT 2007

I'm just starting to learn about rsync.  My use is to backup one hard
drive to another (newer) hard drive.  I've read through the man file,
the rsync site, several googled posts, and have read this forum for a
few days, and I still have some questions.

The initial copy over was simply 'cp $SOURCE $DESTINATION &'.  Then I
figured out that rsync was what I needed to update the backups.  What
with the '-n' switch, I could experiment as I liked.  Eventually, I came
up with: 

'rsync -n -r -t -v -l --relative --size-only /{source directory}/

where -n is don't do it just tell; -r is go through all directories; -t
is add time stamps; -l is don't copy the links themselves; --relative
is use full path names; --size-only is don't look at the time stamps,
just at file size.

I interpret this to require that rsync just test, recurse through
directories, add time stamps to fix the original 'cp' process, tell as
much information as I need, don't copy links, use full path names, and
update on a size only basis.

I got it that adding the forward slash to the $SOURCE eliminates the
source directory problem.  I got it that the original copy over most
likely didn't add time stamps, which meant that the first use of rsync
would duplicate the entire copy over process.  I got it that adding the
time stamps and selecting files to copy over by size only would make the
first update process behave as it should.

And I got it that I could remove -t and --size-only from subsequent
backup runs.

What did I get wrong there?

And what I don't seem to be able to figure out is how to get rsync to
give me a list of the files it updates or backs up.  I thought a single
-v would do that, but apparently not.

I'd surely appreciate what help you fellows might offer!


Bill Tallman

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