I want to use rsync for fast transfer. Is -z, --compress (compress file data during the transfer) secure, and how can I check that each file is transferred completely.

Have done rsync --info=help to get

Use OPT or OPT1 for level 1 output, OPT2 for level 2, etc.; OPT0 silences.

BACKUP     Mention files backed up
COPY       Mention files copied locally on the receiving side
DEL        Mention deletions on the receiving side
FLIST      Mention file-list receiving/sending (levels 1-2)
MISC       Mention miscellaneous information (levels 1-2)
MOUNT      Mention mounts that were found or skipped
NAME       Mention 1) updated file/dir names, 2) unchanged names
PROGRESS   Mention 1) per-file progress or 2) total transfer progress
REMOVE     Mention files removed on the sending side
SKIP       Mention files that are skipped due to options used
STATS      Mention statistics at end of run (levels 1-3)
SYMSAFE    Mention symlinks that are unsafe

ALL        Set all --info options (e.g. all4)
NONE       Silence all --info options (same as all0)
HELP       Output this help message

Options added for each increase in verbose level:

After doing the transfer, I really want to perform a transfer check, ideally with a list of files where complete transfer failed.

Non-complete transfer is not a rare occurrance in my experience, particularly during routine backups which happen quite frequently.

Would output to a log file from rsync be good enough to scan through and make a summary?

1 Answer 1


For GNU rsync, use the -v and -P switches to show each file being transferred and information on the progress. Keep in mind that -z can sometimes cause the transfer to be slower to varying degrees because of the compression even though its purpose is to reduce the amount of data being transferred.

See man rsync for more information.

  • There is --info=FLAGS. Do you know about tho available values for FLAGS?
    – Pietru
    Jul 18, 2021 at 15:10
  • @Pietru As is stated in my answer, you can find that information in the man page. The options in my answer give you what you need by showing each file and the progress. If a file doesn't transfer completely, it will show you that. --info=FLAGS just allows one to choose what output one wants. The options already show what you want so there's no need to tune it unless you want to see something else. Jul 18, 2021 at 15:20
  • How about the compress operation. Things go faster, but is it good for reliable transfer?
    – Pietru
    Jul 18, 2021 at 15:21
  • @Pietru The compression doesn't affect the reliability of the transfer. It's only purpose is to reduce the amount that's being transferred. The only way that you're going to find out everything that might happen is by trial and error. Jul 18, 2021 at 15:28
  • 2
    @Pietru Transfer will be faster if you use compression, but only if the network link is so slow that it is quicker to compress + transfer + decompress the data instead of just transfer the data as it is. For this to be the case, you need 1) a very slow network link, 2) a very fast CPU on both source and target systems, 3) data that compresses a lot. Nowadays, it's rarely worth it to compress with rsync.
    – Kusalananda
    Jul 18, 2021 at 15:32

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