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I am using rsync to recursively sync a remote folder tree that looks something like the following:


I don't know what the folder tree will look like and it will change over time. So what I want to be able to do is recursively rsync the above but exclude the folder "cache" and any sub folders it contains so that I ultimately end up syncing:


Any suggestions?

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See also an rsync filter tutorial. – Gilles Jan 13 '11 at 20:35
up vote 26 down vote accepted

You want the --exclude flag. For example, a local rsync:

rsync -a --exclude cache/ a/ b/

It really is that simple -- that exclude rule will match a directory named "cache" anywhere in your tree.

For more information, look for "--exclude" and the "FILTER RULES" section on the rsync man page:


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Doh!!. Thanks it is the simple answers that I like best :-) – TheEdge Jan 16 '11 at 0:38
What about not anywhere in the tree? Like, only exclude a/cache. UPD See this answer – x-yuri Nov 12 '15 at 15:50
Also --exclude /cache/ (with the leading /) will only exclude a/cache directory, not any directory named cache. – Amir Ali Akbari Dec 19 '15 at 13:07
Why a/ b/ in the above command line, what does it mean? – Danijel Dec 24 '15 at 9:13
@Danijel: a/ is the directory we're syncing (or copying) from; b/ is the directory we're syncing into. – Jander Dec 25 '15 at 4:48

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