I am transferring a large amount of files from one computer to another using rsync. I am doing this by SSHing into the source computer and executing a command like this:

sudo rsync ssh --rsync-path="sudo rsync" source_dir user@host.com:dest_dir.

Even if I add nohup before this command, whenever I close out the terminal window from which I SSHed, the connection closes.

How can I have it so that my file transfer still continues when I close my SSH connection?

2 Answers 2


The reason why nohup is not helping you is because the program works with standard IO files.

Here is' an excerpt from Wiki Page for nohup:

Note - Nohupping backgrounded jobs is typically used to avoid terminating them when logging off from a remote SSH session. A different issue that often arises in this situation is that ssh is refusing to log off ("hangs"), since it refuses to lose any data from/to the background job(s). This problem can also be overcome by redirecting all three I/O streams:

nohup ./myprogram > foo.out 2> foo.err < /dev/null & Also note that a closing SSH session does not always send a HUP signal to depending processes. Among others, this depends on whether a pseudo-terminal was allocated or not.

You can use screen for that.

Just create a screen session with: screen -S rsync then, you detach your screen with CTRL+A d

And you can disconnect from SSH

  • 4
    I want to add that when performing any work which will if interrupted, eg by a lost connection be problematic, then run it in a screen session. Screen is designed to protect against accidental connection loss. You can log in remotely, start screen, start your work, and if you lose connection you can re-connect to any running screen instance. Screen has got other useful functionality - capturing the session to a log file, having multiple "screens" in a single session (saving network overhead), and multiple viewers (Classroom style). Also worth mentioning that tmux is a screen alternative.
    – Johan
    Mar 17, 2013 at 8:13

That screen command is fine, but didn't work for my needs exactly.

This worked a lot better:

nohup rsync -va --delete ###.###.###.###:/var/www/sites/ /var/www/sites < /dev/null &
  • worked for me, just like the accepted answer, thanks
    – Salaros
    Sep 14, 2018 at 20:16

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