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I've been using rsync to sync a bunch of files between my two servers. I set a cron job that would run rsync every minute. However, I'd prefer if I could have it run always, so that files are synced the moment they are changed. What would be the best way to do this?


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up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you have inotify in your kernel, check out inotify-tools.

There's an example on that page:

# A slightly complex but actually useful example
inotifywait -mrq --timefmt '%d/%m/%y %H:%M' --format '%T %f' \
 -e close_write /home/billy | while read date time file; do
    rsync /home/billy/${file} rsync://${file} && \
    echo "At ${time} on ${date}, file ${file} was backed up via rsync"
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I'm interested in this solution @Doug. Would you mind explaining what the different parts of this script do? – Amelio Vazquez-Reina Aug 5 '11 at 20:11
FWIW (four years later), lsyncd is a daemon-like program that wraps up this functionality in a very elegant and fairly cross-platform way: – Zac B Sep 17 '13 at 18:28

use the inotify system of linux, in combination with incron.

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Doug Harris has a nice example usage. Care to further document yours as well? – Nerdling Sep 24 '09 at 21:53
doug copyNpasted the sample direct from that page :) to avoid doing the same: (rtfm) ... it works just like cron, just in a different directory (/etc/incron.d/) – akira Sep 25 '09 at 5:06

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