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

Kevin Korb kmk at
Tue Mar 10 22:32:31 UTC 2020

If you used -v then the very last line rsync outputs is:
> total size is ###  speedup is ### (DRY RUN)

 	Kevin Korb			Phone:    (407) 252-6853
 	Systems Administrator		Internet:
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On Tue, 10 Mar 2020, T. Shandelman via rsync wrote:

> Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2020 17:26:41 -0500
> From: T. Shandelman via rsync <rsync at>
> To: rsync at
> Subject: Question/comment about -n (dry run) flag of rsync
> 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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