Can rsync assume that the destination directory is empty ?

Kevin Korb kmk at
Thu Jun 9 10:27:08 UTC 2016

There isn't an option for that and it isn't actually required that the
target directory be empty (just a good idea).  Plus it has to do the
stat calls on the other end anyway so I doubt there would be much
performance benefit.

Maybe --ignore-times would cause it to not look but I kinda doubt it and
I am too tired to do an strace right now ;)

On 06/09/2016 05:32 AM, Arnaud Aujon Chevallier wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm currently using rsync to backup up to 1 TB of small files of
> relatively small files (hundreds of Ko mostly)
> My backup strategy is to use a full backup and then backup the diff
> every day using hardlink with the previous backup. This means that each
> time I use rsync, the destination directory is empty.
> Using strace, I can see that rsync call a 'lstat' command to try to see
> if the file already exists in my destination directory. Is there an
> option to tell rsync that the destination directory is empty ?
> Do you think that avoiding this call can improve rsync performances in
> this specific case ?
> I tried reading the source code, but I'm not exactly sure where this
> lstat call happens.
> Thanks a lot,
> Arnaud Aujon Chevallier

	Kevin Korb			Phone:    (407) 252-6853
	Systems Administrator		Internet:
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	Orlando, Florida		kmk at (personal)
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