rsyncd.conf(5)rsyncd.conf(5)NAMErsyncd.conf - configuration file for rsync server
The rsyncd.conf file is the runtime configuration file for rsync when
run with the --daemon option. When run in this way rsync becomes a
rsync server listening on TCP port 873. Connections from rsync clients
are accepted for either anonymous or authenticated rsync sessions.
The rsyncd.conf file controls authentication, access, logging and
The file consists of modules and parameters. A module begins with the
name of the module in square brackets and continues until the next mod‐
ule begins. Modules contain parameters of the form ´name = value´.
The file is line-based - that is, each newline-terminated line repre‐
sents either a comment, a module name or a parameter.
Only the first equals sign in a parameter is significant. Whitespace
before or after the first equals sign is discarded. Leading, trailing
and internal whitespace in module and parameter names is irrelevant.
Leading and trailing whitespace in a parameter value is discarded.
Internal whitespace within a parameter value is retained verbatim.
Any line beginning with a hash (#) is ignored, as are lines containing
Any line ending in a \ is "continued" on the next line in the customary
The values following the equals sign in parameters are all either a
string (no quotes needed) or a boolean, which may be given as yes/no,
0/1 or true/false. Case is not significant in boolean values, but is
preserved in string values.
LAUNCHING THE RSYNC DAEMON
The rsync daemon is launched by specifying the --daemon option to
The daemon must run with root privileges if you wish to use chroot, to
bind to a port numbered under 1024 (as is the default 873), or to set
file ownership. Otherwise, it must just have permission to read and
write the appropriate data, log, and lock files.
You can launch it either via inetd or as a stand-alone daemon. If run
as a daemon then just run the command "rsync --daemon" from a suitable
When run via inetd you should add a line like this to /etc/services:
and a single line something like this to /etc/inetd.conf:
rsync stream tcp nowait root /usr/bin/rsync rsyncd
Replace "/usr/bin/rsync" with the path to where you have rsync
installed on your system. You will then need to send inetd a HUP sig‐
nal to tell it to reread its config file.
Note that you should not send the rsync server a HUP signal to force it
to reread the /etc/rsyncd.conf. The file is re-read on each client con‐
The first parameters in the file (before a [module] header) are the
You may also include any module parameters in the global part of the
config file in which case the supplied value will override the default
for that parameter.
The "motd file" option allows you to specify a "message of the
day" to display to clients on each connect. This usually con‐
tains site information and any legal notices. The default is no
The "log file" option tells the rsync daemon to log messages to
that file rather than using syslog. This is particularly useful
on systems (such as AIX) where syslog() doesn´t work for
The "pid file" option tells the rsync daemon to write its
process id to that file.
The "syslog facility" option allows you to specify the syslog
facility name to use when logging messages from the rsync
server. You may use any standard syslog facility name which is
defined on your system. Common names are auth, authpriv, cron,
daemon, ftp, kern, lpr, mail, news, security, syslog, user,
uucp, local0, local1, local2, local3, local4, local5, local6 and
local7. The default is daemon.
This option can provide endless fun for people who like to tune
their systems to the utmost degree. You can set all sorts of
socket options which may make transfers faster (or slower!).
Read the man page for the setsockopt() system call for details
on some of the options you may be able to set. By default no
special socket options are set.
After the global options you should define a number of modules, each
module exports a directory tree as a symbolic name. Modules are
exported by specifying a module name in square brackets [module] fol‐
lowed by the options for that module.
The "comment" option specifies a description string that is dis‐
played next to the module name when clients obtain a list of
available modules. The default is no comment.
path The "path" option specifies the directory in the servers
filesystem to make available in this module. You must specify
this option for each module in /etc/rsyncd.conf.
If "use chroot" is true, the rsync server will chroot to the
"path" before starting the file transfer with the client. This
has the advantage of extra protection against possible implemen‐
tation security holes, but it has the disadvantages of requiring
super-user privileges and of not being able to follow symbolic
links outside of the new root path when reading. When "use
chroot" is false, for security reasons symlinks may only be rel‐
ative paths pointing to other files within the root path, and
leading slashes are removed from absolute paths. The default
for "use chroot" is true.
The "max connections" option allows you to specify the maximum
number of simultaneous connections you will allow to this module
of your rsync server. Any clients connecting when the maximum
has been reached will receive a message telling them to try
later. The default is 0 which means no limit.
The "lock file" option specifies the file to use to support the
"max connections" option. The rsync server uses record locking
on this file to ensure that the max connections limit is not
exceeded. The default is /var/run/rsyncd.lock.
The "read only" option determines whether clients will be able
to upload files or not. If "read only" is true then any
attempted uploads will fail. If "read only" is false then
uploads will be possible if file permissions on the server allow
them. The default is for all modules to be read only.
list The "list" option determines if this module should be listed
when the client asks for a listing of available modules. By set‐
ting this to false you can create hidden modules. The default is
for modules to be listable.
uid The "uid" option specifies the user name or user id that file
transfers to and from that module should take place as when the
daemon was run as root. In combination with the "gid" option
this determines what file permissions are available. The default
is uid -2, which is normally the user "nobody".
gid The "gid" option specifies the group name or group id that file
transfers to and from that module should take place as when the
daemon was run as root. This complements the "uid" option. The
default is gid -2, which is normally the group "nobody".
The "exclude" option allows you to specify a space separated
list of patterns to add to the exclude list. This is equivalent
to the client specifying these patterns with the --exclude
option except that the exclude list is not passed to the client
and thus only apply on the server. Only one "exclude" option
may be specified, but you can use "-" and "+" before patterns to
Note that this option is not designed with strong security in
mind, it is quite possible that a client may find a way to
bypass this exclude list. If you want to absolutely ensure that
certain files cannot be accessed then use the uid/gid options in
combination with file permissions.
The "exclude from" option specifies a filename on the server
that contains exclude patterns, one per line. This is equivalent
to the client specifying the --exclude-from option with a equiv‐
alent file except that the resulting exclude patterns are not
passed to the client and thus only apply on the server. See also
the note about security for the exclude option above.
The "include" option allows you to specify a space separated
list of patterns which rsync should not exclude. This is equiva‐
lent to the client specifying these patterns with the --include
option. This is useful as it allows you to build up quite com‐
plex exclude/include rules. Only one "include" option may be
specified, but you can use "+" and "-" before patterns to switch
See the section of exclude patterns in the rsync man page for
information on the syntax of this option.
The "include from" option specifies a filename on the server
that contains include patterns, one per line. This is equivalent
to the client specifying the --include-from option with a equiv‐
The "auth users" option specifies a comma and space separated
list of usernames that will be allowed to connect to this mod‐
ule. The usernames do not need to exist on the local system. The
usernames may also contain shell wildcard characters. If "auth
users" is set then the client will be challenged to supply a
username and password to connect to the module. A challenge
response authentication protocol is used for this exchange. The
plain text usernames are passwords are stored in the file speci‐
fied by the "secrets file" option. The default is for all users
to be able to connect without a password (this is called "anony‐
The "secrets file" option specifies the name of a file that con‐
tains the username:password pairs used for authenticating this
module. This file is only consulted if the "auth users" option
is specified. The file is line based and contains username:pass‐
word pairs separated by a single colon. Any line starting with a
hash (#) is considered a comment and is skipped. The passwords
can contain any characters but be warned that many operating
systems limit the length of passwords that can be typed at the
client end, so you may find that passwords longer than 8 charac‐
ters don´t work.
There is no default for the "secrets file" option, you must
choose a name (such as /etc/rsyncd.secrets). The file must nor‐
mally not be readable by "other"; see "strict modes".
The "strict modes" option determines whether or not the permis‐
sions on the secrets file will be checked. If "strict modes" is
true, then the secrets file must not be readable by any user id
other than the one that the rsync daemon is running under. If
"strict modes" is false, the check is not performed. The
default is true. This option was added to accommodate rsync
running on the Windows operating system.
The "hosts allow" option allows you to specify a list of pat‐
terns that are matched against a connecting clients hostname and
IP address. If none of the patterns match then the connection is
Each pattern can be in one of five forms:
o a dotted decimal IP address. In this case the incoming machines
IP address must match exactly.
o a address/mask in the form a.b.c.d/n were n is the number of one
bits in in the netmask. All IP addresses which match the masked
IP address will be allowed in.
o a address/mask in the form a.b.c.d/e.f.g.h where e.f.g.h is a
netmask in dotted decimal notation. All IP addresses which match
the masked IP address will be allowed in.
o a hostname. The hostname as determined by a reverse lookup will
be matched (case insensitive) against the pattern. Only an exact
match is allowed in.
o a hostname pattern using wildcards. These are matched using the
same rules as normal unix filename matching. If the pattern
matches then the client is allowed in.
You can also combine "hosts allow" with a separate "hosts deny"
option. If both options are specified then the "hosts allow"
option s checked first and a match results in the client being
able to connect. The "hosts deny" option is then checked and a
match means that the host is rejected. If the host does not
match either the "hosts allow" or the "hosts deny" patterns then
it is allowed to connect.
The default is no "hosts allow" option, which means all hosts
The "hosts deny" option allows you to specify a list of patterns
that are matched against a connecting clients hostname and IP
address. If the pattern matches then the connection is rejected.
See the "hosts allow" option for more information.
The default is no "hosts deny" option, which means all hosts can
The "ignore errors" option tells rsyncd to ignore IO errors on
the server when deciding whether to run the delete phase of the
transfer. Normally rsync skips the --delete step if any IO
errors have occurred in order to prevent disasterous deletion
due to a temporary resource shortage or other IO error. In some
cases this test is counter productive so you can use this option
to turn off this behaviour.
This tells the rsync server to completely ignore files that are
not readable by the user. This is useful for public archives
that may have some non-readable files among the directories, and
the sysadmin doesn´t want those files to be seen at all.
The "transfer logging" option enables per-file logging of down‐
loads and uploads in a format somewhat similar to that used by
ftp daemons. If you want to customize the log formats look at
the log format option.
The "log format" option allows you to specify the format used
for logging file transfers when transfer logging is enabled. The
format is a text string containing embedded single character
escape sequences prefixed with a percent (%) character.
The prefixes that are understood are:
o %h for the remote host name
o %a for the remote IP address
o %l for the length of the file in bytes
o %p for the process id of this rsync session
o %o for the operation, which is either "send" or "recv"
o %f for the filename
o %P for the module path
o %m for the module name
o %t for the current date time
o %u for the authenticated username (or the null string)
o %b for the number of bytes actually transferred
o %c when sending files this gives the number of checksum bytes
received for this file
The default log format is "%o %h [%a] %m (%u) %f %l", and a "%t
[%p] " is always added to the beginning when using the "log
A perl script called rsyncstats to summarize this format is
included in the rsync source code distribution.
The "timeout" option allows you to override the clients choice
for IO timeout for this module. Using this option you can ensure
that rsync won´t wait on a dead client forever. The timeout is
specified in seconds. A value of zero means no timeout and is
the default. A good choice for anonymous rsync servers may be
600 (giving a 10 minute timeout).
The "refuse options" option allows you to specify a space sepa‐
rated list of rsync command line options that will be refused by
your rsync server. The full names of the options must be used
(i.e., you must use "checksum" not "c" to disable checksumming).
When an option is refused, the server prints an error message
and exits. To prevent all compression, you can use "dont com‐
press = *" (see below) instead of "refuse options = compress" to
avoid returning an error to a client that requests compression.
The "dont compress" option allows you to select filenames based
on wildcard patterns that should not be compressed during trans‐
fer. Compression is expensive in terms of CPU usage so it is
usually good to not try to compress files that won´t compress
well, such as already compressed files.
The "dont compress" option takes a space separated list of case-
insensitive wildcard patterns. Any source filename matching one
of the patterns will not be compressed during transfer.
The default setting is
*.gz *.tgz *.zip *.z *.rpm *.deb *.iso *.bz2 *.tbz
The authentication protocol used in rsync is a 128 bit MD4 based chal‐
lenge response system. Although I believe that no one has ever demon‐
strated a brute-force break of this sort of system you should realize
that this is not a "military strength" authentication system. It
should be good enough for most purposes but if you want really top
quality security then I recommend that you run rsync over ssh.
Also note that the rsync server protocol does not currently provide any
encryption of the data that is transferred over the link. Only authen‐
tication is provided. Use ssh as the transport if you want encryption.
Future versions of rsync may support SSL for better authentication and
encryption, but that is still being investigated.
A simple rsyncd.conf file that allow anonymous rsync to a ftp area at
/home/ftp would be:
path = /home/ftp
comment = ftp export area
A more sophisticated example would be:
uid = nobody
gid = nobody
use chroot = no
max connections = 4
syslog facility = local5
pid file = /var/run/rsyncd.pid
path = /var/ftp/pub
comment = whole ftp area (approx 6.1 GB)
path = /var/ftp/pub/samba
comment = Samba ftp area (approx 300 MB)
path = /var/ftp/pub/rsync
comment = rsync ftp area (approx 6 MB)
path = /public_html/samba
comment = Samba WWW pages (approx 240 MB)
path = /data/cvs
comment = CVS repository (requires authentication)
auth users = tridge, susan
secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets
The /etc/rsyncd.secrets file would look something like this:
The rsync server does not send all types of error messages to the
client. this means a client may be mystified as to why a transfer
failed. The error will have been logged by syslog on the server.
Please report bugs! The rsync bug tracking system is online at
This man page is current for version 2.0 of rsync
rsync is distributed under the GNU public license. See the file COPY‐
ING for details.
The primary ftp site for rsync is ftp://rsync.samba.org/pub/rsync.
A WEB site is available at http://rsync.samba.org/
We would be delighted to hear from you if you like this program.
This program uses the zlib compression library written by Jean-loup
Gailly and Mark Adler.
Thanks to Warren Stanley for his original idea and patch for the rsync
server. Thanks to Karsten Thygesen for his many suggestions and docu‐
rsync was written by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras. They may be
contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Paul.Macker‐
12 Feb 1999 rsyncd.conf(5)