I am trying to set up a script for copying symbolic links folder data and my idea is to set up a single folder and to create several symlinks in this folder where the rsync will then copy the data within those directories:

/backups/local/etc # symlink to /etc/
/backups/local/var  # symlink to /var/
/backups/local/home # symlink to /home/

This becomes an issue and concern that when the files are copied - now I have to worry about other symlinks further down the line. What I want to see happen is that it only processes the root directories symlinks to copy the next directories but any symlinks found within /etc/ /var/ or /home/ are not also copied.

For testing I put another symlink to /etc/ inside of /home/ as /home/etc and with all the options I tried it copies /home/etc/ each time and its full file contents.

I found and tried the following options thinking that these options might be what I was looking for:

rsync -avz -L [options] # i knew this would copy everything and it did.
rsync -avz -L --copy-unsafe-links [options] # copies all symlinks recursively still.
rsync -avz --copy-unsafe-links [options] # still copies all symlinks file/contents recursively

I tried the --copy-unsafe-links options since it says in the man-page that root sym-links are considered unsafe so I was thinking maybe it would only copy the root sym-links.

1 Answer 1


thats because you use the option -a remember -a = -rlptgoD and you see that -l --links is activated, try this :


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