Using Rsync for Secure filesystem backup, co-operative mirroring over insecure networks

Lachlan Cranswick l.cranswick at
Mon Nov 30 04:06:57 EST 1998

Sort of more security paranoia for crystallographers who have the time 
to be security conscious.

Not sure if I am X years behind the times but there is a draft tutorial
on how to install and configure the latest Rsync for UNIX (and possibley
Windows 95 of sorts(?)) at:

Overall summary is that this compiles easily (binaries are available)
and seems to "work" out of the box.

Rsync is free and written by the same people who wrote Samba and
does the following:

  - Can update whole directory trees and filesystems 
  - The rsync server and rsync client co-operate so as to minimise 
    the time and amount of information that has to be transferred for
  - Has an option to only tranfer the changed parts of files 
     (i.e., if 100 lines have changed in a 100 Meg file, rsync will
      only try and transfer the 100 lines)
  - Supports an anonymous mode for anonymous mirroring if required. 
  - Various forms of CRC checking is performed. 
  - Have a variety of options including deletion of obsolete files. 
  - Can use a wide range of security options, including via 
       Secure Shell (SSH), passwords and host.allow. 
  - Any "system user" can use the rsync client. 

For people who are backing up (possibly confidential) crystallographic
data to other computers over insecure networks, this software combined 
with the open source secure shell, looks solid.


For any volunteers who might be want to auto-mirror the CCP14, this
would be the recommended software as it is fast and effecient over
congested (and possibly time/volume charged) internet systems.  Though
FTP based incremental auto-mirroring using "WGET" or "mirror" is supported
as well.

Comments, corrections, criticism appreciate. 


Lachlan M. D. Cranswick
Collaborative Computational Project No 14 (CCP14)
    for Single Crystal and Powder Diffraction
Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, WA4 4AD U.K
Tel: +44 (0)1925-603703  Fax: +44 (0)1925-603124  Room C14
E-mail: l.cranswick at
CCP14 Webpage (Under heavy construction):

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