Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to have rsync transfer all files in a directory that have changed or have been created? I don't need something as sophisticated as a CRC diff check; files with different timestamps and/or file sizes count as changes.

I get the impression from the man page that it should be possible, but I need a little guidance on what set of parameters to pass rsync.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

To just sync two directories:

$ rsync /source/path/* /dest/path/

Or if you want to do a whole tree:

$ rsync -a /source/path/ /dest/path/

I like to add the flags v and P in there so I can watch it work:

$rsync -avP /source/path/ /dest/path/
share|improve this answer
...and perhaps add the z flag to use compression for the transfer –  Linker3000 Mar 7 '11 at 21:47
...if you're transferring to a remote location –  Majenko Mar 7 '11 at 21:50

This is how rsync works by default (at least on Linux). From the man page:

   Rsync finds files that need to be transferred using a "quick check" algorithm (by default) that looks for files that have changed in size or
   in last-modified time.  Any changes in the other preserved attributes (as requested by options) are made on  the  destination  file  directly
   when the quick check indicates that the file's data does not need to be updated.
share|improve this answer
Ah, I had confused myself by misreading the documentation. Thanks :) –  instanceofTom Mar 7 '11 at 21:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.