As stated in rsync's man page, the -a (archive) switch is equivalent to -rlptgoD. However, I have a situation where I don't want symbolic links retained. Is there any way to keep using the -a switch and prevent copying of symbolic links? I could write -rptgoD every time, but it's a bit long.

2 Answers 2


Try the following:

rsync -a --no-links ...

or, the slightly shorter:

rsync -a --no-l ...

Note that the --no-links/--no-l switch must come after the -a switch on the command line, otherwise the --links implied by -a is turned back on again.

  • 1
    I don't see the --no-links option in the rsync help pages. When did they add this option?
    – palswim
    May 21, 2014 at 17:42
  • 14
    @palswim: See the --no-OPTION option in the man page. -l/--links is implied by the -a option, and hence can be turned off by the corresponding --no-OPTION option. May 22, 2014 at 1:32

No. You could use an alias instead. Put the line

alias mrsync="rsync -rptgoD"

inside your ~/.profile and after the next login, you can call just mrsync and have these parameters implicit with the alias.

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