Rsync like Time Machine

Clint Olsen clint.olsen at
Fri Jul 27 11:16:27 MDT 2012

I've been very interested in these discussions and uses of rsync as a
"clone" of Time Machine. A couple of things have been keeping me from a
fully automated solution. I'd like to eliminate the need for Samba/NFS
mounts of any kind, because they have proven to be unreliable for me and
under some operating environments (Cygwin) it breaks --link-dest. In most
of the articles I've read, a target "date" directory is created with some
sort of "latest" symlink for the --link-dest parameter. I can accomplish
those tasks via remote ssh commands, but I was hoping there was a better
way. For example, is there any circumstance where you can coax rsync into
creating a target directory that's not there already?

% rsync <source> user at nas::module/<somedir-exists>/<newdir-with-date>

So, newdir-with-date doesn't exist (yet). I would like to have rsync create
it for me. Is that even possible?


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