In the remote directory, I have the below files and need to copy only the current day's files + previous run failures to my local directory.

Example: in Remote:


In local, I have to rsync the file aa.txt to my new directory.

If the previous run failed, I need to rsync two files (aa.txt and aa-18-04-2017.txt).

Can someone help me here to resolve this?

Currently, RSYNC is copying all the files to our local directory and this causing storage issue on daily basis.

  • Giving the files unambiguous names before running rsync would simplify processing and also your human interpretation of the results.
    – tripleee
    Apr 19, 2017 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


rsync has a very comprehensive manual page, there's even some examples which indicate how to do this. Here's my take along the lines of what you want.

rsync -auv remotemachine:/path/to/srcdir/ /path/to/dest_dir

I have made some assumptions, update your question with additional information if your setup differs and you need more help.


remotemachine has rsync server set up. (ssh access is possible but then the syntax is slightly different)

-a archive mode sets several options automatically, but it is usually what you want for backups

-u update mode, only copy files that don't exist or size or last modification time differ (source files are newer than what you have already)

srcdir/ The trailing slash means copy files within src_dir to dest_dir to avoid an extra level in destination.

-v verbose mode so you can see what is happening.

To Test this, use the -n option in addition, this skips the copy but shows you what it would do.

But I do recommend, reading the manual page man rsync and testing.

[edit] After @Dev 's 1st comment below.

If you have an intermediate step, ie dest_dir is really a temporary local storage location, used for offline archiving. Then, you could possibly build a list of files that have been archived successfully, and use the --exclude-from-file=/some/where/exclude_list.txt option.

  • Hi, Here the problem is once we rsync the files to local directory and extract the required files for back up. So here we are looking to copy only the required files instead of downloading all files. Please note we delete the source directory once we took a backup
    – Dev
    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:05
  • 2
    It appears you haven't quite described what you are trying to do exactly, you have now mentioned there are 3 locations. Please edit your original post to include this, and describe better your situation and what you are trying to do. Are the 2nd & 3rd locations local ? Why the intermediate step ? Maybe you should be building a file list and use the --exclude-from-file option ?
    – X Tian
    Apr 20, 2017 at 11:01

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