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I have an rsync command for copying my files from dev to production. I don't want to copy the .htaccess file that's in the root of the HTML directory but, I do want to copy the few .htaccess files that are in its sub directories.

I'm using the argument --exclude .htaccess which is stopping all of the files from getting copied. The other arguments I'm including are -a --recursive --times --perms. Is it possible to configure rsync to do this?

Edit: Here is my full command:

rsync -a --recursive --times --perms \
    --exclude prop_images --exclude tracking --exclude vtours \
    --exclude .htaccess --exclude .htaccess_backup --exclude "*~" \ 
    /home/user/dev_html/* /home/user/public_html/
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Funny, using --exclude '.htaccess' should be working, if the source directory you're referencing is also the base directory. Try adding the single quotes ' to the filename. – Alexander Janssen Oct 21 '12 at 14:39
up vote 3 down vote accepted

When you specify --exclude .htaccess, you are excluding any path ending in .htaccess.

To exclude only the .htaccess at the root of the transfer source, you need to --exclude /.htaccess

From the rsync manpage, some further detail and a reference to additional reading:

  • if the pattern starts with a / then it is anchored to a particular spot in the hierarchy of files, otherwise it is matched against the end of the pathname. This is similar to a leading ^ in regular expressions. Thus "/foo" would match a file named "foo" at either the "root of the transfer" (for a global rule) or in the merge-file's directory (for a per-directory rule). An unqualified "foo" would match any file or directory named "foo" anywhere in the tree because the algorithm is applied recursively from the top down; it behaves as if each path component gets a turn at being the end of the file name. Even the unanchored "sub/foo" would match at any point in the hierarchy where a "foo" was found within a directory named "sub". See the section on ANCHORING INCLUDE/EXCLUDE PATTERNS for a full discussion of how to specify a pattern that matches at the root of the transfer.
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Try this option:

--exclude 'some/parts/of/path/.htaccess'

Globs are also allowed:

--exclude 'some/*/of/*/.htaccess'
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