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So ive read the manual searched google, but not enough information on what is really the purpose of this rsync's -a flag

the manual says to provide archive. is it the same archive as in tar?

i just can't assume directly so i have to ask here.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 21 '13 at 6:30

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

From the man page:

-a, --archive               archive mode; equals -rlptgoD (no -H,-A,-X)

So -a is just shorthand for -rlptgoD, which are typical settings for all the commonly used options when syncing from one file system to another.

In general use rsync -a ... unless you have something specific you need to do differently.

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hey, do you also happen to know how to enable partial transfer? thanks agian – ruggedbuteducated May 24 '13 at 8:12
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Yes, it's right there on the man page: --partial keep partially transferred files. So it would just be: rsync -a --partial .... – Paul R May 24 '13 at 9:07
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cp has cp -a too (not saying it's an exact match) archive just means 'transfer a lot of permissions and other filesystem meta data over from source'. If you don't need permissions etc copied over just use -r (merely recurse into directories) permissions of existing files in destination will be preserved. RTM r,l,p,t,g,o,D for what your missing out on (IMO there in order of usefulness). – sabgenton May 26 '13 at 3:00

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