Backup a remote directory to local computer

I'm sure there is an easy or elegant way to do this:

/Remote_NIX_Machine/directory/ [some files and directories]


I would like to run a cronjob/script on the local machine which backs up the files and directories from the remote machine. The files will already have been compressed so I just need to grab them. Ideally, I'd like an optional flag to ignore files with the same name/path as files (from paths given) on the local machine. I have root access, but the remote files all belong to me anyway.
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tfewsterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The two colons are used when the remote system is an rsync server (which allows rules, different users etc. to be set up). You probably don't want that level of complexity, so just use the single-colon syntax.

If you have the same login on both systems, you don't need to specify a user
rsync -Cav  Server:/path/test_file  /local_dir

The sync copies new files, updates existing files(disable with --ignore-existing)  and (optionally) deletes files that no longer exist on the source system. I can't test it at the moment, but the above syntax with a test file is safe to play with (or use the -n option, which just simulates what would be done)
Which Unix?  This sounds like a job for rsync!
macgruderAuthor Commented:
The remote machine is Linux. The local is OS 10.3 which has rsync.
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macgruderAuthor Commented:
What exact rsync command should I give if I can ssh into the remote server?
Please see jlevies answer in

Note that this will update any files that have changed, and you may want to leave out the --delete flag!
macgruderAuthor Commented:
$ rsync --rsh=ssh --delete -Cav master-copy/* user-name@remote.dom.tld:/path-to/slave-copy

That is slightly different in that it backs up to the remote copy, rather than backing up FROM the remote copy. I'm guessing I would change the -Cav option. I'm looking at 3:30am, but if you know the exact command it would be helpful.
Oops, I misread your previous comment - I assumed you were going to ssh into the remote server to run the command...Just reverse the source & target, e.g. rsync [options]  Server:/path/test_file  /local_dir

From -
rsync -av --rsh="ssh -l ssh-user" rsync-user@host::module[/path] local-path
macgruderAuthor Commented:
Thanks that seems close. I'll look at it tomorrow. Just a couple of questions:

does the rysnc-user have to be set up on the remote server?
will the above synchronize things?
why are there two colons after host?

Remote_NIX_Machine/directory/ [some files and directories]

You need to use ssh + tar to copy the files accross for the first time
(for a empty target dir, rsyn runs very slow!)

ssh  login@remotebox "cd /directory; tar cf - filenames dirnames" | (cd /a_directory ; tar xvf -)

IF you want to copy everything under directory, use:
ssh  login@remotebox "cd /directory; tar cf - ." | (cd /a_directory ; tar xvf -)

To achieve faster backup and avoid have to setup ssh login without password,
you can use NFS mount to mount the remote file system to the local machine
and then use rsync.

 /usr/local/bin/rsync --delete -az ${DIRECTORY} ${BACKDIR}

You can do a search at EE to find more infor about how to setup ssh without password,
I have answered it a few times.

macgruderAuthor Commented:

Thanks, I'm very nearly there with:
rsync -av --delete --rsh="ssh -l me" host:/some_path/dir/files /a_path/dir

The main problem is that I'm prompted for the ssh password. If I put this into a script is there anyway to have the password automatically sent?
macgruderAuthor Commented:
The answer to that maybe here:
Once again, I apologise for missing a key point - that you hadn't got an autologin/trust/keypair relationship set up already.  If you've got it working now, great  - If not, we should get this question reopened and I'm sure yuzh will be able to help you out.
Tim, thanks for your good words!

    If you still need help, just post a comment (don't need to reopen it). I think I can
help you out.

   apart from setup ssh without password, you can also use expect script to handle
the password.
   In case you need help on setup ssh without password, have a look at:

macgruderAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot guys. The link
ended up working perfectly. So everything is working perfectly.
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