How to manage root<-->root rsync keeping permissions?

Chris Green cl at
Tue Aug 3 14:09:13 UTC 2021

Paul Slootman via rsync <rsync at> wrote:
> On Tue 03 Aug 2021, Chris Green via rsync wrote:
> > Is there a way to copy (for example) the /etc hierarchy from one
> > system to another preserving root ownership of files and without
> > revealing root passwords all over the place?
> Best way is to run an rsync daemon on the source system, and be sure to
> use "uid = 0" so that the daemon reads the source as root.
> > So, it's easy for the sending end to be run as root as it's going to be
> > run by a script in /etc/cron.daily, so it can access all the files in
> > /etc even if only readable by root.
> Hmm I prefer to use "pull" mechanisms as that's more secure (harder to
> screw up the destination).
> So create a /etc/rsyncd.conf file with the appropriate config, something
> like:
> [etc]
>   path = /etc
>   read only = yes
>   hosts allow = another-system
>   uid = 0
> If using systemd then enable and start the daemon:
> systemctl enable rsync.service
> systemctl start rsync.service
> Then on another-system as root run rsync:
> rsync -a one-system::etc/ /backups/etc/
> I usually also use -H for hard links, but /etc usually won't have those.
> You can also use an rsync password to make this a bit more secure so
> that not everyone on another-system can read all of /etc from
> one-system. Details in the manpage.
I already have an rsync daemon server running elsewhere, I can add
this requirement to that I think.  Thank you.

Chris Green

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