Suggestions for basic rsync configuration

Stuart Halliday StuartH at
Thu Mar 13 14:59:19 GMT 2008

Whilst it is possible to write a script to mount FTP and copy the files
across. This isn't what is usually done with Rsync.

Rsync can be a replacement for FTP client.

So it collects a list of altered files between two directories and puts
these files into a remote directory. No FTP required.

All you need to do is open up a port on your server to the Internet,
install Rsync as a server(daemon) on one end and then run Rsync on the
source whenever you need to do the backup.

The cute thing is that Rsync don't care what platform the source or server
is or whether or not it's across a LAN or WAN.

Here is a batch line I typically use on Windows for backing up a directory
across the Internet.

rsync -zav --delete --recursive '/cygdrive/c/sourcedirectory/'
username at mydomain.dom::backupdirectory/

This syncs the source to the backup directory. ie Rsync assumes the source
is the 'master'.

Once you've got Rsync working, you can then add a SSH layer so the traffic
is encrypted.

I'd advise getting the basic daemon working first, then on the client PC,
issue a Rsync command to list the contents of the remote folder.
Once you've got that listing working you know things like firewalls, port
forwarding of routers is working. :-)

Rsync by default using port 873. But it's easy to change this. Just ensure
you do it with the daemon and client. ;-)

To list the public remote directories.

Rsync domain.dom::

Listing the contents of a directory set up in the daemon confg file is
done by:

Rsync domain.dom::backup

Once you've got the basics, you can then add username and password
protection in the confg file.

Performing a list of a directory with a username is done like this:

Rsync username at domain.dom::backup

if a password is required, you're prompted for it.
If you want the password auto-inserted, then you set a environmental variable
In Windows this is added to the batch file of the client rsync.


A basic daemon conf.cfg file is something like this:

log file = rsyncd.log
pid file =
use chroot=false
charset = utf-8

strict modes = false
secrets file =/cygdrive/c/cwrsync/passwordfile

comment=rsync directory
path = /cygdrive/c/mybackup/
read only = false
transfer logging = yes
#auth users=username

password file is a list of users and passwords "username:password" on a
single line.

Stuart Halliday

-----Original Message-----
From: Geofoxer <pete.heiss at>
To: rsync at
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 05:39:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Suggestions for basic rsync configuration

> Hello,
> I am very new to rsync and am wanting to have it back up more than 4
> remote
> linux servers via ftp. I want to write a script that will open up a ftp
> connection using "" with a
> server,
> then mount the drive containing the backups, copy the data that is new,
> unmount the drive, close the connection and move onto the next server
> until
> every server is successfully backed up to a external drive on my linux
> machine which is on my local network. I know that I have to use ssh
> with the
> connection to the servers for backup, but where to start is where I am
> at
> right now. Here are a couple of noobish questions:
> 1. Do I have to write my own file from scratch and hope it works?
> 2. How should I start to write my file in order to have it correlate
> with
> backing up multiple servers (syntax, switches, and so on)?
> If anyone has any advise on how I should start writing my config file,
> please let me know if you have any suggestions. 
> Thanx,
> gxr
> -----
> Computers are like air conditioners. They both dont work, if you open
> windows.
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