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Keep an extra backup copy of your "corrupt" file.

Recommended Normal Approach

Recommended command line:

rsync -a -vvv --progress <rsync server host name>::<path and file name at server> <local file name>

For example:

rsync -a -vvv --progress carroll.cac.psu.edu::mandrake-iso/mandrakefreq-i586-20010316.iso  mandrakefreq-i586-20010316.iso 

Other Requirements:

  • may need to run as root
  • must (?) run from the directory where the (local) corrupted file exists
  • need free space for the file you are rsync'ing (in that directory)

Other notes

  • The path to the file on the server is relative to the rsync server (might not be stated exactly correct)

  • A long pause before data transmission starts is normal.

  • --progress presents a periodically updated byte count and percent complete, but starts only after the long pause.

  • Do not use the -c option -- instead, simply make sure that the date of the local file does not match the date of the remote file.

  • An "unexpected EOF on read_timeout" error often indicates something is taking too much time on the server. Don't specify the -c option, don't rsync more than one large file in a single rsync command, etc.

  • -a will update the date, time, owner, and permissions of the local copy to match those of the remote copy.

  • On Windows, time resolution is correct only to an even number of seconds, which can cause the md5sum to be incorrect.

  • -v up to -vvv is recognized.

  • port (873) of your firewall/gateway must be open

  • If a text file with Linux line endings (lf) is accidentally converted to the MSDos line endings (crlf), it causes rsync to degrade to a full copy operation.

Non Problems

Rsync can cope with:

  • vfat (fat32) partitions
  • mismatched protocols (and versions of rsync), as long as the server protocol is later than the client protocol

If Rsync is Interrupted

The partially rsync'd hidden file is discarded and the original corrupt file remains in its original condition.

Overcome the problem by rerunning rsync using the --partial option and some additional steps:

  • Make doubly sure you have a backup copy of the original corrupted file. (With the --partial option, rsync, if interrupted, will discard the original and save only the (partially) rsync'd copy.)

  • If rsync is interrupted before completion, create a new file that starts with the partially rsync'd file and ends with the tail of the original local file. (And make sure the date and time of this file does not match that of the file on the server so that the server immediately recognizes the files as different.)

  • Save a copy of this new "original" before restarting rsync.

Other rsync options

  • -P is equivalent to --partial and --progress

  • -z, or --compress --> compress file data (not recommended)

  • -n, or --dry-run --> show what would have been transferred (for testing)

  • See man rsync.


  • RandyKramer - 2001-04-13 (created), 2001-08-22 (transferred from swiki), 2001-09-02 (rewritten)
  • Lieven Van Acker - 2001-08-23
  • Sergio Korlowsky - 2001-09-03
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Topic revision: r4 - 2014-12-20 - RandyKramer
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