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Exclude a specific directory from rsync on linux?

+1 vote
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I am using centos and trying to do an rsync of the entire /var directory, but exclude just the /var/www directory.

So far I've tried these approaches:

rsync -avzp --exclude-from=/var/www /var/ /mnt/var/    
rsync -avzp --exclude=/var/www /var/ /mnt/var/

But neither has worked. Can I get a suggestion on how to get this to happen?

posted Jun 9, 2015 by anonymous

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cd /var
 rsync -avzp --exclude=www/* . /mnt/var
--exclude-from takes a filename as an argument. That filename is expected to contain a list of patterns to exclude.

If your exclude pattern begins with '/', then it matches a filename  immediately within the transfer root. So in this case, "/var/var/www".

Read the "FILTER RULES" and "INCLUDE/EXCLUDE PATTERN RULES" sections of  the manual.

1 Answer

+2 votes
 
Best answer

There are two things you need to know about:

  1. Your from directory ends with a "/", which, for rsync actually means /*, ie, /var/*. This makes a difference as to where the "root" of your sync is. In this case, the source is multiple files, not a directory. (equivalent to rsync /var/mail /var/spool /var/opt ... /mnt/var)

  2. You need to specify excludes relative to the root. Note that the root is the topmost file / directory from where the sync begins. Thus, if the source is /home/user/directory then, the root is "directory" not /home/user/directory (rsync doesn't even see /home/user).

Best thing is, do a dry run of the sync, and copy paste what you want to exclude. For example:

(a) rsync -aznp /var/ /mnt/var/ # this means copy all files/directories under /var/ to /mnt/var/
sending incremental file list
mail/
opt/
spool/
spool/rsyslog/
www/
...

Now, your exclude patter has to be www/ (or even better, /www/ to avoid things like mail/www/ also being excluded)

(b) rsync -aznp /var /mnt/ # this means copy the directory /var to /mnt/
sending incremental file list
var/mail/
var/opt/
var/spool/
var/spool/rsyslog/
var/www/
...

In this case, the exclude pattern is /var/www/

In summary, you have two opttions to get this to work:

rsync -avzp --exclude=/www /var/ /mnt/var/

OR

rsync -avzp --exclude=/var/www /var /mnt/var

answer Jun 10, 2015 by anonymous
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