I have strange rsync behaviour. I need to copy all files youngest than 2 days from one folder to another.

So i've mixed rsync with files-from argument and find utility in a script to do what i need to do.

cd /mnt/smb/online/
find . -mtime -2 -print > /tmp/rsynclist
rsync -av --ignore-existing --size-only --files-from=/tmp/rsynclist /mnt/smb/online /mnt/backup/

File /tmp/rsynclist is ok, and have only files that i need (all files not older than 2 days). But rsync seems to ignore that 'files-from' argument and continuing to copy all files from source older.

Where i am mistaking?


The problem is not in the rsync command, but in your find. While testing your script I noticed that there are also directories in my rsynclistfile that have been changed, resulting in rsync copying all files under these directories.

To prevent this, add -type f to your find command.

cd /mnt/smb/online/
find . -type f -mtime -2 -print > /tmp/rsynclist
rsync -av --ignore-existing --size-only --files-from=/tmp/rsynclist /mnt/smb/online /mnt/backup/

Afterwards only paths to files should be in the list, giving in the intended result.


The syntaxe of the rsync command is :

rsync [option] source[x] destination

You had put 2 sources :

  • /tmp/rsynclist ; the right one
  • /mnt/smb/online ; this is wrong and you must delete it

try with :

rsync -av --ignore-existing --size-only --files-from=/tmp/rsynclist  /mnt/backup/
  • This will in rsync complaining that a parameter is missing. – Gerald Schneider Jun 21 '17 at 8:19
  • 1
    files-from is not source folder, it just list of files that rsync need to copy. So source parameter will be missing. – Jaels Jun 21 '17 at 8:23

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