Copying / syncing files over a local network with rsync

An article, posted 4 months ago filed in how i do it, rsync, copy, files, unix & macos.

Just a short article to document for myself how to copy a large directory (e.g. a user-folder) over a local network. While (s)cp might work for smaller operations, rsync is my preferred tool as you can restart it when it breaks + in case you found an optimization, you can just abort and restart. Some things to take into account before I share the command:

  • Do not mount a drive, just use ssh
  • if you're sharing from macOS, make sure file sharing has access to the entire harddrive, otherwise some important folders will sync empty (e.g. Documents(!))
  • Make sure you exclude files you don't need (a home folder typically contains many cache-files that you don't want to sync to a new machine
  • Do not enable some form of compression (it waists cpu cycles when your network is fast enough)

So here is the command:

rsync -aWP --inplace --exclude-from=exclude-file.txt murb@someaddress:/Users/username/ .


  • -a is the archival option, and it is typically what y…

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