What is archive mode in rsync?

It’s all of these:

-r, --recursive recurse into directories

-l, --links copy symlinks as symlinks

-p, --perms preserve permissions

-t, --times preserve modification times

-g, --group preserve group

-o, --owner preserve owner (super-user only)

-D same as --devices --specials

--devices preserve device files (super-user only)

--specials preserve special files

It excludes:

-H, --hard-links preserve hard links

-A, --acls preserve ACLs (implies -p)

-X, --xattrs preserve extended attributes

It’s perfect for backups. My “default” set of switches is -avzP – archive mode, be verbose, use compression, preserve partial files, display progress.

Note: Invariably when the descriptions say “preserve”, it means make the destination be like the source.

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