Machine readable log and directory layout metadata

Benito van der Zander benito at
Sun Dec 10 08:29:51 UTC 2017


do you know a way/tool to save the directory layout that was 
synchronized to a file?

So you later know there was a file "foobar" that was copied from the 
source to dest, and another file foobarcommon that existed in both. And 
know the size/mtime/hash of both.

There is the log-file option, but it does not seem to be machine 
readable. Especially files that have line breaks in their name 
completely mess up the log.

And the log-file uses MD5, which is outdated nowadays. Something like 
SHA-2 or newer would be more appropriate.

And I would like to know the entire directory layout, not just the 
changes in the log. So when you delete a file, it can check, the file 
was there during the previous synchronization, but now it is gone, so 
delete that file in the destination. This is different to a non-existing 
file, a file that does not exist now and did not exist previously, would 
not need to be deleted.

Or when there a file X with a hash was deleted, but there is a new file 
Y in the source and a file X in the destination that all have the same 
hash, it is likely that we do not need to copy Y, and can just rename X 
in the destination directory. At least with a strong hash like SHA-2

Since rsync knows which files are in a directory when it is syncing it, 
it has all the necessary information, so how can they be accessed and 

I know about unison, but it solves a different problem, since it ties a 
source-destination together, rather than storing changes in one directory.

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