Rsync help needed


I’ve installed Rsync on my DroboFS and it seems to be up and running. Can anyone give me the terminal commands to run a sync?

I am not running SSH as I gather that slows the transfer, so this is just across my own home LAN. I’ve tried various examples but all seem to fail.



I now know the answer, do you need it?!

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Ok, wanted to check there was a need before I did all this :wink:

  1. First you need to install rsync on the DroboFS. DroboAdmin makes this easy.
  2. Once it’s installed disable it in DroboAdmin and open the DroboApps share on your computer, in my case a Mac.
  3. Go into the rsync folder and edit rsyncd.conf. The [drobofs] section is the default share. I’ve used the following:

path = /mnt/DroboFS/Shares/Public
comment = DroboFS Share
Read Only = false

You have to make sure you add the Read Only = false line else you can’t write data to the drobo! Public is my ‘root’ share name. You can change it to whatever you’ve named your default share.
4. Restart the Rsync service in DroboAdmin.

OK - we’re good to go! Fire up terminal and get typing!

Here’s the line you would use to backup your documents folder to a folder called Documents on your chosen Drobo share:

rsync -avP ~/Documents/ ipaddressofdrobofs::drobofs/Documents/

But what is all that doing you ask? OK, rsync is just firing up the rsync program. The switches (-avP) are telling the rsync to archive (a), be verbose (v) and show the progress of file transfers §. OK, the next bit is your local folder you wish to backup the contents of, in this case Documents in my home folder on my Mac. The next bit is the IP address of your DroboFS, which if you don’t know is listed in the Drobo Admin program (ask me if you need further instructions on how to find it). Next comes two colons (::slight_smile: - just one of those funny unix quirks - and then the word drobofs (that’s the section name you made in the rsyncd.conf file) followed by a slash and then the folder in the root of your share, in this case /Documents.

And that’s pretty much all there is too it. Feel free to ask questions. Local and remote rsync is great because the actual incremental data transfer is very small after the initial backup, particularly good for doing over the internet.

Other switches you can add to the command are adding a lower case c - this would force rsync on your machine and rsync on the server to produce checksums of all the files and use those for comparisons rather than file size and file dates (checksums are much slower though, but theoretically safer). You can also add --delete after the switches e.g. -avP --delete ~/Documents etc.etc.etc. This would delete any files from the destination folder that did not exist on the source. This means you end up with a perfect mirror between the two folders, but be careful as if you delete a critical document from the source and then run that command it will vanish from the Drobo backup folder!

Be warned that standard rsync is not going to preserve a lot of Mac-specific metadata - resource forks, permissions, acls, compression, etc. For most documents it should be fine, but be wary of anything more complex (especially applications).

I’d strongly recommend building rsync with the instructions and patches here:

I’m still not sure how rsync will handle differences in filesystem capabilities between HFS+ (Mac OS X) and ext3 (DroboFS).

Another useful rsync switch is -z, which will compress your data as it moves over the network. It is compressed by the transmitting end, sent as compressed data, then uncompressed by the receiver. Experiment with and without it though, if the FS is slow to uncompress the data then you may lose the gains in transferring less data.