I have rsync installed on a machine. I am trying to sync a directory to a remote machine. Sometimes, on some remote machines, it works; but sometimes it doesn't.

Does rsync have to be installed on the remote machine as well? Or is this not necessary?

1 Answer 1


You need to install rsync in both source and destination machine.

rsync works by doing quick calculations at both ends looking at the timestamps and existence of all the found files in a particular location. Once it does this, it communicates back to the origin rsync about the found list and the origin can then use that information to decide what files it needs to send.

That way only the recently modified or new files get transmitted to the other side. The rsync binary on the remote side is responsible for getting the list together of what already exists and then receiving each of the files that need to be transmitted and putting them in place.

  • 1
    Thanks, I don;t know this before.. So, if we use scp then, does it needs to be installed on both? Nov 21, 2016 at 11:39
  • yes even scp need to be exist on both machines Nov 21, 2016 at 11:49
  • Oh! Then how we will get to know either scp or rsync is present at remote side or not? Which package is installed by default by Linux/UNIX OS? Nov 21, 2016 at 12:09
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    scp is generally installed by default on most linux distros as a part of openssh packages. On ubuntu/debian for example, the openssh-client package provides the scp program Nov 21, 2016 at 12:11
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    @WissamAl-Roujoulah scp does not need to be installed on the destination machine, however an SSH server must be running (sshd) on it.
    – stevieb
    Nov 21, 2016 at 14:37

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