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Keep Remote Directory Up-to-date

I absolutely love the Keep Remote Directory Up-to-date feature in Winscp. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything as simple to use in OS X or Linux. I know the same thing can theoretically be accomplished using changedfiles or rsync, but I’ve always found the tutorials for both tools to be lacking and/or contradictory.

I basically just need a tool that works in OSX or Linux and keeps a remote directory in sync (mirrored) with a local directory while I make changes to the local directory.


Looking through the solutions, I see a couple which solve the general problem of keeping a remote directory in sync with a local directory manually. I know that I can set a cron task to run rsync every minute, and this should be fairly close to real time.

This is not the exact solution I was looking for as winscp does this and more: it detects file changes in a directory (while I work on them) and then automatically pushes the changes to the remote server. I know this is not the best solution (no code repository), but it allows me to very quickly test code on a server while I develop it. Does anyone know how to combine rsync with any other commands to get this functionality?



How “real-time” do you want the syncing? I would still lean toward rsync since you know it is going to be fully supported on both platforms (Windows, too, with cygwin) and you can run it via a cron job. I have a super-simple bash file that I run on my system (this does not remove old files):

rsync -avrz --progress --exclude-from .rsync_exclude_remote . remote_login@remote_computer:remote_dir    

# options
#   -a  archive
#   -v  verbose
#   -r  recursive
#   -z  compress 

Your best bet is to set it up and try it out. The -n (--dry-run) option is your friend!

Keep in mind that rsync (at least in cygwin) does not support unicode file names (as of 16 Aug 2008).

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