Possible Feature-wish - extended files-from

Joerg Jaspert joerg at debian.org
Tue Nov 18 23:27:11 GMT 2008


(please CC me if you reply, Im not subscribed)

I think I have a feature wish. Not sure, maybe its solveable in a
different way, if so please point me to it.

Mirroring distributions, like Debian, takes a long time in the initial
"Receiving file list" step, where rsync looks for files to
transfer. Such scans can take a LONG time already, if you have large
archives (imagine multiple hundred thousand of files and some hundred

Now, what I would want rsync to be able to do is to tell it
THAT is how remote looks like.
THIS is how the local fs looks like.
Please go and fix the local host to match the remote, using the
information found in THIS and THAT, but keep all the usual filters in

THAT and THIS should be files similar to --files-from, but additionally
include the metadata that rsync needs, so that it doesn't need to scan
the filesystem anymore. Or make them binary. Whatever, generating them
will be easy enough.

While its doing its work, rsync should update the THIS file to the new
state, so you can just reuse it the next time you want to sync your
archive (and/or could start out with an empty one easily).

To further ease the usage, THAT should be possible to be relative to the
remote host we sync from. Ie. i should be able to point it to a local
file - or one remotely that rsync then fetches first before it does any
other work.

Yes, this means that the local tree should only be written to by rsync
or it will otherwise produce lots of crap. IMO thats not an unreasonable
request for a mirror of a software archive.

Note that the batch mode rsync has does not address this issue. Batch
mode is nice if you update hosts that are exactly the same. It is not
nice if the hosts can vary, by using different filter rules for

bye, Joerg
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there
when it happens.
  -- Woody Allen
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