I'm currently dealing with a Windows 2003 (web) server, definitely not my cup of tea.

The target is to download and keep synchronized some folders (~55GB) with a linux server.

The windows server is somewhere in internet and my connection is a common 4M/512 adsl.

I thought about rsync and looks like there are some ways to do it:

  1. using rsync on both sides (with cygwin on win)
  2. using grsync on both sideds (with cygwin? on win)
  3. using deltacopy on win and rsync on linux
  4. using robocopy passing through another local win machine which mounts the linux folder shared via samba

Since it's a production server and there aren't enough backup strategies neither the resources to put up something, I'm not willing to play with it and I'd like to avoid any modification to the registry or to make untrusted/tricky installations such as cygwin and similar.

So, 1) is rejected.

I suppose that also grsync uses cygwin (not specified on their website) but it's probably better packaged 'cause they say it's a "one click" installation. I gave a look at the cygwin readme and they say that there are some complications with win2003, so I'm starting thinking that grsync doesn't smell so good.


  • have you ever tried to install grsync on win2003? Any tip?
  • which one of the solutions is more appealing to you?
  • do you have any other better solution?
  • deltacopy also bundles cygwin – JamesRyan Feb 10 '12 at 10:52

Grsync is just a graphical frontend for rsync, so you can't use it standalone.

But then again, you do not need any great system modifications like a full cygwin installation to run rsync - the presence of two cygwin DLL files cygpopt-0.dll and cygwin1.dll in the same directory as rsync.exe is sufficient. Although you might also want to set the locale / codepage information as global environment variables CYGWIN=codepage:utf8 and LC_CTYPE=C-UTF-8.

rsync works reasonably well on Windows - with Cygwin versions 1.7.0 and newer it is even capable of opening the files with the FILE_OPEN_FOR_BACKUP_INTENT flag, thus circumventing potential ACL issues (as long as the user running it would have the Backup privelege). But there are some issues with path lengths (it can't read files where the path + file name length is more than 250 characters).

We were running it as a service installed through cygrunsrv for better integration and signal handling on Windows Server 2003 machines for backup purposes for years without any major problems.

  • you convinced me. I'm going to use cygwin so that I can take also other advantages. Thanks! – damko Feb 17 '12 at 17:49

You can try using WebDAV instead. I used it to sync 2 Windows machines but because its supported both on Windows and Linux you can initiate the sync from any of the machines.

  • this is brilliant! – damko Feb 17 '12 at 17:48

This sounds like the perfect job for Unison.

  • yeah! I didn't remember about Unison! thanks! – damko Feb 17 '12 at 17:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.