The recursive switch

Kevin Korb kmk at
Thu Mar 1 13:52:32 MST 2012

Hash: SHA1

Is it actually not doing anything?  It should only list files that it
is actually doing something with unless you use more than one -v.  Try
adding --itemize-changes to find out (-v is fairly useless without it

Also, don't use -z unless you are on a slow network or know that your
data is very compressible as otherwise it only wastes CPU.

Using -r and -a at the same time is just extra typing it will not
cause any problems.

On 03/01/12 15:49, Colin Raven wrote:
> Thanks to all for jumping in on this one. I've used rsync in a kind
> of offhand manner for years, only now was it necessary to "get
> serious" with it....
> So then, using -a **includes** -r? Goodness me, I was using -ra so
> who knows what gnarliness I was actually causing!!
> If I can briefly say what is going on, a 9.4GB dataset changes by
> about +50 MB per day, and is rsync'd once a day.
> If I deliberately run rsync again right after it finished a run
> with the combo "-rahvz" it ambles through the tree, obligingly
> lists everything, then - concluding there's nothing to be done,
> emits a human readable summary and exits. Unfortunately this takes
> a rather long time, and accomplishes (of course) nothing, since
> there's nothing to sync, but while essentially doing nothing,
> nevertheless chews up some significant resources.
> What is a more intelligent approach?
> -C
> On Mar 1, 2012, at 20:40, Kevin Korb <kmk at> wrote:
> Yes, -a includes -r and a bunch of other things.
> --no-i-r disables the incremental recursion and forces rsync to
> hold the entire tree in memory in addition to fully scanning the
> tree on both ends before copying anything.
> On 03/01/12 14:39, Elliot Wilen wrote:
>>>> On Mar 1, 2012, at 11:34 AM, Kevin Korb wrote:
>>>>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
>>>>> Without -r rsync will ignore all directories even if the
>>>>> path you specified is a directory.  That is what recursive
>>>>> means.
>>>>> If you are having memory usage issues make sure you are
>>>>> running rsync version 3 on both ends and check that you
>>>>> aren't using any of the options that conflict with
>>>>> incremental recursion (like --delete-before).
>>>> Which contradicts what I wrote about using --no-i-r. I defer
>>>> to Kevin.
>>>> But again, note that -a includes -r.
>>>> Elliot Wilen Network Administrator/Postmaster Communications
>>>> and Information Systems MPR Associates, Inc. 2150 Shattuck
>>>> Ave., Suite 800 Berkeley, CA 94704 Phone: (510) 849-4942 Fax:
>>>> (510) 849-0794
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