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How To Exclude a Folder from Rsync

Ubuntu 17

Rsync is a powerful tool that allows you to synchronize files and directories between two locations on a local machine or between two machines on a network. It is efficient and reliable, making it a popular choice for backups and mirroring. However, there may be times when you want to exclude certain folders from the synchronization process. This article will guide you through the process of excluding a folder from rsync.

Quick Answer

To exclude a folder from rsync, you can use the --exclude option followed by the folder name. For example, rsync -avz --exclude 'folder_to_exclude' source destination. If you have multiple folders to exclude, you can create a file with a list of folders and use the --exclude-from option.

Understanding Rsync

Before we delve into the specifics of excluding a folder, it’s important to understand how rsync works. Rsync uses an algorithm to minimize the amount of data transferred. It does this by only transferring the differences between the source and destination files.

The basic syntax for an rsync command is:

rsync options source destination

For example:

rsync -avz /home/user1/ user2@192.168.1.2:/home/user2/

In this command, -avz are the options. The -a option stands for “archive”, which preserves the file structure, file permissions, symbolic links, and other attributes. The -v option stands for “verbose”, which gives detailed information about the process. The -z option compresses the data during the transfer to speed up the process.

Excluding Folders using –exclude

Rsync provides the --exclude option to exclude files and directories from the synchronization process. The syntax for using --exclude is as follows:

rsync -avz --exclude 'folder_to_exclude' source destination

For example, if you want to exclude the Downloads folder located in /home/chris/, you would use the following command:

rsync -avz --exclude '/Downloads' /home/chris/ user2@192.168.1.2:/home/user2/

In this command, --exclude '/Downloads' tells rsync to exclude the Downloads folder from the synchronization process.

Excluding Multiple Folders using –exclude-from

If you have multiple folders to exclude, you can list them in a file and use the --exclude-from option. This option allows you to specify a file that contains a list of files and directories to exclude. The syntax for using --exclude-from is as follows:

rsync -avz --exclude-from 'exclude_list.txt' source destination

In the exclude_list.txt file, you would list the folders you want to exclude, one per line. For example:

/Downloads
/Documents

Then, you would use the following command:

rsync -avz --exclude-from 'exclude_list.txt' /home/chris/ user2@192.168.1.2:/home/user2/

In this command, --exclude-from 'exclude_list.txt' tells rsync to exclude the folders listed in exclude_list.txt from the synchronization process.

Conclusion

Excluding folders from rsync is a straightforward process, thanks to the --exclude and --exclude-from options. Whether you have one folder or many to exclude, these options give you the flexibility to control what gets synchronized. By understanding how to use these options, you can make your rsync processes more efficient and tailored to your specific needs.

What is the purpose of excluding a folder from rsync?

Excluding a folder from rsync allows you to prevent certain folders from being synchronized between the source and destination locations. This can be useful if you want to exclude sensitive or unnecessary files from the synchronization process.

Can I exclude multiple folders using rsync?

Yes, you can exclude multiple folders using rsync. You can either specify multiple --exclude options followed by the folders you want to exclude, or you can use the --exclude-from option and provide a file that contains a list of folders to exclude.

How do I exclude a folder that is located in a subdirectory?

To exclude a folder that is located in a subdirectory, you need to provide the path to the folder relative to the source location. For example, if you want to exclude a folder named logs located in /home/user1/documents/, you would use the --exclude '/documents/logs' option.

Can I exclude specific file types using rsync?

Yes, you can exclude specific file types using rsync. To do this, you can use the --exclude option followed by the file pattern you want to exclude. For example, to exclude all files with the .txt extension, you would use the --exclude '*.txt' option.

Can I exclude a folder based on its name?

Yes, you can exclude a folder based on its name using rsync. You can use the --exclude option followed by the folder name. For example, to exclude a folder named backup, you would use the --exclude 'backup' option. Note that this will exclude all folders with the name backup regardless of their location.

Can I exclude hidden folders using rsync?

Yes, you can exclude hidden folders using rsync. Hidden folders are those that start with a dot (e.g., .folder). To exclude hidden folders, you can use the --exclude '.*' option. This will exclude all folders that start with a dot.

Can I exclude a folder from rsync based on its size?

No, rsync does not provide a built-in option to exclude a folder based on its size. However, you can use other tools or scripts in combination with rsync to achieve this functionality. For example, you can use the find command to filter out folders based on their size and then use rsync to synchronize the remaining folders.

Will excluding a folder affect the synchronization of its subfolders?

Yes, excluding a folder will also exclude its subfolders from the synchronization process. When you exclude a folder, rsync will not transfer any files or directories within that excluded folder or its subfolders.

Can I exclude a folder temporarily and later include it in the synchronization process?

Yes, you can exclude a folder temporarily and later include it in the synchronization process. To do this, you can use the --exclude option to exclude the folder initially, and then remove the --exclude option or update it to exclude a different folder to include the previously excluded folder in the synchronization process.

Can I use wildcards to exclude multiple folders with similar names?

Yes, you can use wildcards to exclude multiple folders with similar names using rsync. For example, to exclude all folders that start with the word "temp", you can use the --exclude 'temp*' option. This will exclude folders like "temp", "temporary", "template", etc.

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