December 28, 2005
Let’s say you want to back up your “my documents folder” every night to a server across a network. Rsync will take any new documents you’ve added, and put them in your folder on the server. It’ll also delete any documents you’ve deleted (if you tell it to.)
That’s pretty simple, and there are many ways of doing that.
Where Rsync shines is that it will do it with parts of files — let’s say you have a 3 gigabyte file that gets a little update each day. Instead of deleting the backed up copy and sending a new 3 gigabyte file, Rsync is smart enough to just send the parts that have changed.
It doesn’t have to know anything about what the file is — it can do it with a Word document, a spreadsheet, a database, etc.