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Folks, Please correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the assumption that the reason rsync's first run is slower than subsequent, is because it builds up a database of the file structure on the sender.

However, Im not seeing this in the docs:

Does rsync in fact build a database of local files? Can we specify where it should be stored?


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"When this is done, each side sorts the file list lexicographically by path relative to the base directory of the transfer. (The exact sorting algorithm varies depending on what protocol version is in effect for the transfer.) Once that has happened all references to files will be done by their index in the file list." – mfinni Nov 22 '13 at 17:08
OK, so this file list... Does it get stored after the job completes? – CMag Nov 22 '13 at 22:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, rsync does not store a database of files; it rebuilds its file list from scratch for each run.

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So... it would not be a great solution for millions of small files in a directory structure that changes frequently... However. Rsync does take in a list of files to replicate, so one could potentially feed it the list of files...? Yes? – CMag Nov 24 '13 at 16:06
It doesn't take an externally-supplied list, it builds the list itself. If you wanted to generate the list externally, I think you'd have to rewrite the relevant parts of rsync. – Gordon Davisson Nov 24 '13 at 17:45

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