I have following directory structure on remote machine


for info LibA.1 and LibA.2 are version of a directory, content of this two folder may be almost same and there can be more such folders.

I want to sync AllLibs to my other machine where network is too slow. and Only Available option is via network

I know rsync is best for syncing files but I believe it does 1-1 mapping of files and sync them.

One use case I have is ALLLibs/LibA/LibA.1 if is synced on my other machine already and later on ALLLibs/LibA/LibA.2 gets created on remote, I want the sync to be happened via patch of the previous lib.

  • If I understand correctly, you want the sync to be clever enough to detect similar binary files and only transmit the difference? rsync cannot do this I believe, since it works on file-by-file basis. However, incremental compressed backups may be exactly what you want: They create a compressed difference of a previous snapshot. You could automate the creation, transmission and extraction of such an archive. – Sebastian Aug 28 '15 at 6:51

Make sure you are using rsync -z to compress over the network. Other options to consider are -H (hardlinks) and -S (sparse files).

Before you run your rsync, do a version with -nv which does no updates but shows you which files will be updated.

Out of the list of files, use your knowledge to match where a missing file might already exist on the remote, and then login to the remote and copy these files first.

For example, -nv might show updates needed for:


but if you know it is probably a copy of ../LibA.1/file1, then write a script to create and populate LibA.2 from LibA.1, and run it on the remote. It can be as simple as cp -rp. When you do the real rsync, similar files will already be there, and changed files will be updated. You will need --delete to remove files that should not be there (be careful with this option: test with -n first).

Be careful in your copy command on the remote: copying a file usually sets a new timestamp on the new file. rsync by default compares size and timestamp. If they differ, the file will be updated. Use rsync option -c to instead checksum each file to see if it differs.

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