Question/comment about -n (dry run) flag of rsync

T. Shandelman todd.shandelman at
Tue Mar 10 22:26:41 UTC 2020

Rsync is a remarkably handy tool that I use virtually every day.

But there is one thing about rsync that drives me totally crazy.

Under the -n (dry run) flag, rsync seems to produce exactly the same output
as without that flag.

I cannot tell you how many times I sit and scratch my head long and
hard,after I discover that my intended rsync operations did not actually
happen. Until I finally remember that I ran rsync in dry-run mode. That's
why! This is especially a problem for very long-running rsync jobs run in
dry-run mode.

It seems to me that when run in dry-run mode, rsync should display a
warning at the very, very end, something like:

*WARNING: None of the above operations have been actually performed, *
*because you ran rsync in dry-run mode.*

Or does rsync already have such a feature, and I am not aware of it?

But if not, that is my vote for the next feature to be added. It should be
a very, very easy fix.

Todd S.
Austin, Texas, USA
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