I've a question about rsync command in unix.

Does it save some configuration invisible files into the directories ? How does it know which files need to be added or not ?

Or is just checking file by file ?

I'm asking this because I'm planning to copy all files (but not the root directory) to another folder (svn working copy).


2 Answers 2


rsync does not use any invisible files to remember what it has/has not copied across. Each time you run an rsync command it checks source against target (according to the options you specify on your rsync commandline) and copies files accordingly.

If you want to explicity ignore/not copy files/folders you can use the --exclude (and related) option to do that. Check the rsync manpage for rull details of what is available.


In addition to @Richm's answer Rsync uses timestamps, and size (like git does) by default to tell if a file has changed, and that rsync should update it. you can use the --checksum option to check based on a checksum instead of a timestamp.

-c, --checksum              skip based on checksum, not mod-time & size

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