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I've created a backup script with rsync and I have it running every 10 minutes. I have it logging using --progress but to make reading the log easier I only want to include files that are transferred. I.e. at the end of a run I would like to see something in the log like:

Started transfer at 2012-07-31 11:03:45


Number of files: 35184
Number of files transferred: 2

I can't find anything after a bit of googling. Is there a way to do this?


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Have you tried using --stats instead of --progress? –  scai Jul 31 '12 at 10:36
Yeah but it doesn't state which files were transferred. –  jeanaux Jul 31 '12 at 11:03
I've noticed that the reason it was listing everything is because I was using the -a flag. I changed it to -tr because I'm rsyncing to fat32 and the other options of -a don't really matter. It seems to only print the progress of transferred files now rather than all of them. I don't know why this works but I suspect that it's because fat32 can't store some aspect of the file (like it does with timestamps) and rsync thinks it needs to be updated a second time when it looks like the file is different. –  jeanaux Jul 31 '12 at 11:24
@jeanaux Please add more information to your question, such as a simple log, and the fact that your target filesystem is fat32 (using a non-native filesystem is an important piece of information). Then answer your question, ideally mentioning which particular aspect was causing the problem if you can find out. –  Gilles Jul 31 '12 at 22:41

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I figured it out in the end. I noticed that the reason it was listing everything was because I was using the -a flag.

I'm syncing to fat32 so something about the -a flag was causing it to try to sync all the files every time.

I changed the flags to -tr and that solved the problem. I don't know what it was about the -a flag that was causing it but I know that fat32 isn't as detailed as other files systems and file comparisons don't always work properly between filesystems as a result.

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-a equals -rlptgoD. In fat32, permissions (-p), owner (-o) and group (-g) probably won't match (they're fixed as mount options for fat32), so rsync will try to update them (as you told it), but will fail everytime. –  spuk May 13 at 14:25
thanks for the insight! –  jeanaux May 13 at 21:36

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