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For example, say I have a full backup done using robocopy. Can I then use rsync to replicate just the changes? Or will rsync do another full copy? I don't want that to happen because it's over a slow WAN link.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Short answer: yes

Long answer: The file access times may differ but if you use rsync -ci that will force it to compute a checksum for the source and destination file. The -i option will give you verbose output for what changes in each file. Run it with -n to start out with and it will just tell you what it will do without transferring anything. You will need rsync to be installed on both ends of the transaction.

Check out the man page.

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Good stuff. I'm using Windows with cygwin, it should be the same as Linux yes? – PowerApp101 Jun 17 '09 at 10:21
Yes, it's exactly the same although I have heard of problems where the access times and file permissions cannot be copied accurately from a Linux filesystem to a Windows one. Going the other way should be fine. – Sekenre Jun 17 '09 at 10:24
I had some experience with rsync on Windows, it was painfully slow, much too slow for multi-gig transfers. – Berzemus Jun 17 '09 at 10:30

If the file and folder structure is the same on both sides it will be an incremental copy. I would do a dry run with rysnc to test first though.

rsync --dry-run [insert rest of command here]
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