How to output a list of changed files from rsync?

Solution 1:

You can use rsync's --itemize-changes (-i) option to generate a parsable output that looks like this:

~ $ rsync src/ dest/ -ai
.d..t.... ./
>f+++++++ newfile
>f..t.... oldfile

~ $ echo 'new stuff' > src/newfile

~ $ !rsync
rsync src/ dest/ -ai
> newfile

The > character in the first position indicates a file was updated, the remaining characters indicate why, for example here s and t indicate that the file size and timestamp changed.

A quick and dirty way to get the file list might be:

rsync -ai src/ dest/ | egrep '^>'

Obviously more advanced parsing could produce cleaner output :-)

I came across this great link while trying to find out when --itemize-changes was introduced, very useful: (archived link)

Solution 2:

Use the -n flag, combined with the -c checksum flag and the -i flag:

# rsync -naic test/ test-clone/
>fcst...... a.txt
>fcst...... abcde.txt
>fcst...... b.txt

In this example, three files have changed, based on the contents (as determined by the checksum) of the file itself. However, no file syncing is done because of the -n flag


If you want to run chown on the changed files, parse them out with sed or similar and process with xargs, for example:

rsync -naic test/ test-clone/ | sed 's/............//' | xargs -I+ sudo chown root "test-clone/+"

Solution 3:

This question is a little bit old, but I think it worth to be added:

-i is a shortcut of --out-format=%i%n%L

And %n means the filename, (section log format of man rsyncd.conf)

P.S. rsync version 3.1.0