I'm trying to simply sync a folder using rsync over my local network from my computer in front of me to the destination computer.


echo "This script will sync from my Macbook Dropbox/scripts/ folder to ruth@ @ Norms house"

OPTIONS="--recursive --ignore-existing --progress"
rsync "$OPTIONS" "$SRC_DIR" "$DST_DIR"

To give myself write privileges

chmod +x nameofscript.sh

When I run it, it outputs:

rsync: --recursive --ignore-existing --progress: unknown option

How do I properly store these options and run it as a script?

  • 1
    Please don’t add your solution to your question; if you feel the accepted answer isn’t complete enough, you can suggest an edit to that, or add your own separate answer. – Stephen Kitt Mar 22 '18 at 22:16

By quoting "$OPTIONS", the shell is passing it to rsync as a single string, so rsync is trying to find a single option named "--recursive --ignore-existing --progress", which obviously doesn't exist, since these are three separate options.

This should fix it for you:


A better option might be to use a bash array to store your options.

# ...
rsync "${OPTIONS[@]}" "$SRC_DIR" "$DST_DIR"

The advantage of using an array is that then you are able to introduce items that include spaces, if any are necessary.

  • The bash array works great to store the options, I've edited my original with the correct script. Thank you. – Kaiya Mar 22 '18 at 21:55
  • Awesome @Kaiya, I'm glad this worked for you! – filbranden Mar 22 '18 at 22:06

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