Transferring and Synchronizing Files with rsync

Learn how to transfer and synchronize files between two machines using the rsync command.

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The rsync program can copy files and folders between two locations on the same system and transfer files between local and remote locations.

Let’s use rsync to transfer the testsite directory from one user to another. This time, we copy it to a new folder named testsite2.

We execute this command to perform the copy:

rsync -v -r testsite/ {username}@{ip}:testsite2

Notice the trailing slash for the source. This tells rsync to copy the directory contents to the destination rather than the directory itself. Unlike the scp command, we can use this for the first transfer and subsequent transfers. The destination directory is created if it doesn’t exist.

Let’s try it out. We run the command again and then use tree to view the files on the remote machine:

rsync -v -r testsite/ {username}@{ip}:testsite2

ssh {username}@{ip} 'tree testsite2'

Follow these steps:

  1. Upon the first prompt, enter 123456 as the password.
  2. Type su sshuser.
  3. Go to the sshuser folder by typing cd /home/sshuser
  4. Type rsync -v -r testsite/ temp@
  5. Upon the next prompt, type yes and press “Enter”.
  6. Enter the password you set earlier and press “Enter”.
  7. To verify that the files have been copied, type ssh temp@ 'tree testsite2', and enter the password when prompted.

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