Verifying backups

Kevin Korb kmk at
Thu Oct 1 20:57:05 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA1

(GNU) cp -au is exactly equal to rsync -au.  It won't copy files that
are already up to date.  It just doesn't have an equivalence to
- --delete.  Therefore, when doing local copies it is often faster to do
a cp -au followed by an rsync --delete so that rsync is only bothering
with the deletions.

On 10/01/2015 04:48 PM, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> In message <560CE706.303 at>, Kevin Korb
> <kmk at> wrote:
>> Yes, when it comes to local copies cp is significantly faster
>> than rsync.  Without --link-dest there isn't much advantage to
>> using rsync for backups.  The only thing you get beyond cp -au is
>> --delete.
> I just now remembered the (forehead slap) bloody obvious reason I
> decided to use rsync to make and maintain my backup drive(s).
> Yes, it theory I could have used something simpler... cp -R or
> else maybe cpio -p... but those just copy everything blindly.  For
> my backups, I only need/want to have the NEW and/or MODIFIED files 
> copied to the backup drive.  (And also, of course, I need to have 
> files that have been deleted on the main drive be deleted also on 
> the backup drive.)
> Rsync does everything I want as far as making and maintaining
> backups. I could also have used FreeBSD backup & restore programs,
> but for reasons I can't really remember anymore, I concluded that
> rsync was the better option.
> Regards, rfg
> P.S.  I have no idea what the -u option for cp is supposed to do. I
> guess that must be a Linux-ism.  The FreeBSD man page for cp
> doesn't mention any such thing as a -u option.

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