Recently there had been a great necessity to find a feasible solution for Remote file transfer as I had to do it myself due to unavailability of a server guy.
I have been trying to find an optimal solution to achieve that (whenever I felt the need to do so, but most of the time had to skip the R&D due to lack of time). Finally, have got everything on place to make “copy of files from one server to another” work.
First of all, there is an important note. If there is ample number of files you want to transfer from one host to another, the screen command comes handy. It helps in creating a background job in linux. Where you can initiate the file transfer process without worrying to keep the console opened until the transfer is done.
To create a screen enter the following command on terminal
user@host ~ $ screen
To come out from the session, just press Ctrl+A+D.
To re-attach the screen enter the following command
user@host ~ $ screen -r
More information about this useful command can be found here
Coming down to the point
I have found at many places the advise to use the ‘scp (secure copy)‘ command which is really good.
scp username@remote_1:/file/to/send username@remote_2:/where/to/put
But I didn’t like it much as it transfers all files every time you hit the command. Thereafter having a few more rounds of findings I came up with the ‘rsync (Remote sync)‘ command. Rsync helps in transferring only the updated files from the source. It comes with a lot of useful options
-v, --verbose increase verbosity --info=FLAGS fine-grained informational verbosity --debug=FLAGS fine-grained debug verbosity --msgs2stderr special output handling for debugging -q, --quiet suppress non-error messages --no-motd suppress daemon-mode MOTD (see caveat) -c, --checksum skip based on checksum, not mod-time & size -a, --archive archive mode; equals -rlptgoD (no -H,-A,-X) --no-OPTION turn off an implied OPTION (e.g. --no-D) -r, --recursive recurse into directories -R, --relative use relative path names --no-implied-dirs don't send implied dirs with --relative -b, --backup make backups (see --suffix & --backup-dir) --backup-dir=DIR make backups into hierarchy based in DIR --suffix=SUFFIX backup suffix (default ~ w/o --backup-dir) -u, --update skip files that are newer on the receiver --inplace update destination files in-place --append append data onto shorter files --append-verify --append w/old data in file checksum -d, --dirs transfer directories without recursing -l, --links copy symlinks as symlinks -L, --copy-links transform symlink into referent file/dir --copy-unsafe-links only "unsafe" symlinks are transformed --safe-links ignore symlinks that point outside the tree --munge-links munge symlinks to make them safer -k, --copy-dirlinks transform symlink to dir into referent dir -K, --keep-dirlinks treat symlinked dir on receiver as dir -H, --hard-links preserve hard links -p, --perms preserve permissions -E, --executability preserve executability --chmod=CHMOD affect file and/or directory permissions -A, --acls preserve ACLs (implies -p) -X, --xattrs preserve extended attributes -o, --owner preserve owner (super-user only) -g, --group preserve group --devices preserve device files (super-user only) --specials preserve special files -D same as --devices --specials -t, --times preserve modification times -O, --omit-dir-times omit directories from --times -J, --omit-link-times omit symlinks from --times --super receiver attempts super-user activities --fake-super store/recover privileged attrs using xattrs -S, --sparse handle sparse files efficiently --preallocate allocate dest files before writing -n, --dry-run perform a trial run with no changes made -W, --whole-file copy files whole (w/o delta-xfer algorithm) --checksum-choice=STR choose the checksum algorithms -x, --one-file-system don't cross filesystem boundaries -B, --block-size=SIZE force a fixed checksum block-size -e, --rsh=COMMAND specify the remote shell to use --rsync-path=PROGRAM specify the rsync to run on remote machine --existing skip creating new files on receiver --ignore-existing skip updating files that exist on receiver --remove-source-files sender removes synchronized files (non-dir) --del an alias for --delete-during --delete delete extraneous files from dest dirs --delete-before receiver deletes before xfer, not during --delete-during receiver deletes during the transfer --delete-delay find deletions during, delete after --delete-after receiver deletes after transfer, not during --delete-excluded also delete excluded files from dest dirs --ignore-missing-args ignore missing source args without error --delete-missing-args delete missing source args from destination --ignore-errors delete even if there are I/O errors --force force deletion of dirs even if not empty --max-delete=NUM don't delete more than NUM files --max-size=SIZE don't transfer any file larger than SIZE --min-size=SIZE don't transfer any file smaller than SIZE --partial keep partially transferred files --partial-dir=DIR put a partially transferred file into DIR --delay-updates put all updated files into place at end -m, --prune-empty-dirs prune empty directory chains from file-list --numeric-ids don't map uid/gid values by user/group name --usermap=STRING custom username mapping --groupmap=STRING custom groupname mapping --chown=USER:GROUP simple username/groupname mapping --timeout=SECONDS set I/O timeout in seconds --contimeout=SECONDS set daemon connection timeout in seconds -I, --ignore-times don't skip files that match size and time --size-only skip files that match in size -@, --modify-window=NUM set the accuracy for mod-time comparisons -T, --temp-dir=DIR create temporary files in directory DIR -y, --fuzzy find similar file for basis if no dest file --compare-dest=DIR also compare received files relative to DIR --copy-dest=DIR ... and include copies of unchanged files --link-dest=DIR hardlink to files in DIR when unchanged -z, --compress compress file data during the transfer --compress-level=NUM explicitly set compression level --skip-compress=LIST skip compressing files with suffix in LIST -C, --cvs-exclude auto-ignore files in the same way CVS does -f, --filter=RULE add a file-filtering RULE -F same as --filter='dir-merge /.rsync-filter' repeated: --filter='- .rsync-filter' --exclude=PATTERN exclude files matching PATTERN --exclude-from=FILE read exclude patterns from FILE --include=PATTERN don't exclude files matching PATTERN --include-from=FILE read include patterns from FILE --files-from=FILE read list of source-file names from FILE -0, --from0 all *from/filter files are delimited by 0s -s, --protect-args no space-splitting; wildcard chars only --address=ADDRESS bind address for outgoing socket to daemon --port=PORT specify double-colon alternate port number --sockopts=OPTIONS specify custom TCP options --blocking-io use blocking I/O for the remote shell --outbuf=N|L|B set out buffering to None, Line, or Block --stats give some file-transfer stats -8, --8-bit-output leave high-bit chars unescaped in output -h, --human-readable output numbers in a human-readable format --progress show progress during transfer -P same as --partial --progress -i, --itemize-changes output a change-summary for all updates -M, --remote-option=OPTION send OPTION to the remote side only --out-format=FORMAT output updates using the specified FORMAT --log-file=FILE log what we're doing to the specified FILE --log-file-format=FMT log updates using the specified FMT --password-file=FILE read daemon-access password from FILE --list-only list the files instead of copying them --bwlimit=RATE limit socket I/O bandwidth --write-batch=FILE write a batched update to FILE --only-write-batch=FILE like --write-batch but w/o updating dest --read-batch=FILE read a batched update from FILE --protocol=NUM force an older protocol version to be used --iconv=CONVERT_SPEC request charset conversion of filenames --checksum-seed=NUM set block/file checksum seed (advanced) -4, --ipv4 prefer IPv4 -6, --ipv6 prefer IPv6 --version print version number (-h) --help show this help (see below for -h comment) Rsync can also be run as a daemon, in which case the following options are accepted: --daemon run as an rsync daemon --address=ADDRESS bind to the specified address --bwlimit=RATE limit socket I/O bandwidth --config=FILE specify alternate rsyncd.conf file -M, --dparam=OVERRIDE override global daemon config parameter --no-detach do not detach from the parent --port=PORT listen on alternate port number --log-file=FILE override the "log file" setting --log-file-format=FMT override the "log format" setting --sockopts=OPTIONS specify custom TCP options -v, --verbose increase verbosity -4, --ipv4 prefer IPv4 -6, --ipv6 prefer IPv6 -h, --help show this help (if used after --daemon)
A detailed information about this command can be found on the linux web directory
A basic structure of the command which can be used to server the purpose of copying million of your files from one host to another
rsync -azP /var/www/html/ username@ip-address:/var/www/html/
it copies all the files from the /var/www/html directory of logged in host to the destination host in the mentioned directory.
Given options are:
-a : enables archive mode, which preserves symbolic links and works recursively -z : compress the data transfer to minimise network usage -P : to display a progress bar and enables you to resume partial transfers
Note: I am not a linux person but as I got the solution I was looking for, thought of sharing it with you. For detailed information about the mentioned commands, you please get the experts guidance if necessary and check on community forums as well.
If you have any queries/suggestions or ay better solutions, please feel free to add in the comment box below or can contact me directly