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Using rsync for robust file transfers
Authored by: jvinocur on Nov 28, '05 04:53:58PM
I do most of my file transfers with rsync these days, because it is smart about comparing existing files for differences and seamlessly resuming interrupted transfers. Other than that, the behavior and interface both resemble scp:
    rsync -aP jeff@example.org:/tmp/portrait.jpg ~/Pictures/
where of course either the source or the destination (or both) can be a path located on a remote host (transfer encrypted via ssh), you can omit the username if it's the same as on the local machine, and you can use wildards if you quote carefully.

The -a flag is for archiving (makes an exact copy, preserving timestamps, permissions, etc), and the -P flag gets you partial-download resumes and realtime progress stats on the download speed etc. See the man page for more details. Just don't get overwhelmed; has a lot of other powerful features, but you don't need to understand them to use it as an easy tool for robust file transfers.

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