Static server side listing

Brian K. White brian at
Thu Dec 22 09:25:14 MST 2011

Same problem ftp servers have had since decades ago.

And the answer was (initially) to provide a ls-lR file in the top level 
directory or in every directory and educate users to use it. Perhaps you 
could enforce that by removing the ability to browse/list, but not the 
ability to download files? The rsync client can't implement this of 
course so it requires scripting and wrapping on the client side.

By now there are eleventy-seven ftp servers with all manner of special 
features for situations just like this, so maybe it's time for more than 
one rsync server option?


On 12/22/2011 12:26 AM, Kevin Korb wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> afaik, there is nothing in rsync that can do what you are asking for.
>   I don't know of anything outside of rsync that can do it either but
> then I don't know everything.
> My initial thought is to provide a tarball and/or a snapshot from some
> change management system.
> On 12/22/11 00:22, Mark Constable wrote:
>> On 22/12/11 14:59, Kevin Korb wrote:
>>>>>> Is it possible to provide a static listing on a server,
>>>>>> say every 24 hours, that a standard end-user rsync can pull
>>>>>> and use?
>>>>> Sounds like a job for a snapshot.  If you are on Linux that
>>>>> would be an lvm2 snapshot.  Other operating systems with
>>>>> basic volume management usually have an equivalent.
>>>> Thanks. That sounds like a way to manage the archived files but
>>>> I don't understand how that would eliminate the dynamic
>>>> generation of listings that rsyncd provides to clients?
>>> It would provide a static copy.
>> Sure, of the archived files themselves. An alternate file tree
>> would do the same thing and give me more flexibility to prepare the
>> alt tree that is about to be swapped in at the next 24 hour swap
>> over point.
>>> The rest would be up to the OS to cache in RAM.
>> My 20k files situation could grow to 100k files so something has
>> to index them all dynamically 100/sec. Even if the directory
>> indexes are cached in ram that is still a lot of load on the cpus
>> just to do something that could be done once with the results
>> provided as a simple single static file, if it were possible.
>> I guess my question is now, what would it take to redirect what
>> rsyncd would normally send back to a client, as a listing, to a
>> local server file and then tell rsyncd to use that single pre
>> prepared file for future listing requests from clients?
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