How to use rsync over FTP

Solution 1:

rsync isn't going to work for you for the reasons others have mentioned. However, lftp and ncftp both have "mirror" modes that will probably meet your needs.

I use this to push stuff from my local directory to a ftp or sftp web host:

lftp -c "set ftp:list-options -a;
open ftp://user:[email protected]; 
lcd ./web;
cd /web/public_html;
mirror --reverse --delete --use-cache --verbose --allow-chown  
--allow-suid --no-umask --parallel=2 --exclude-glob .svn"

Solution 2:

As written by easel, lftp is a good tool.

I suggest you to parametrize the script, and make use of the


options, that excludes filenames using the glob feature (*,? ..) of your shell:

lftp -c "set ftp:list-options -a;
open '$FTPURL';
lcd $LCD;
cd $RCD;
mirror --reverse \
       $DELETE \
       --verbose \
       --exclude-glob a-dir-to-exclude/ \
       --exclude-glob a-file-to-exclude \
       --exclude-glob a-file-group-to-exclude* \
       --exclude-glob other-files-to-exclude"

Warning: make sure that the target directory exists, otherwise the cd command will fail, so operation including deleting trees of files will take place at wrong directory (root)!

I have updated script so that --delete option is disabled by defaut, enable it by uncommenting the DELETE= command.

Solution 3:

You don't. rsync can't do that for you, it is a protocol of its own and doesn't work over FTP.

You might, however, want to try csync. IIRC it provides rsync-like behaviour over HTTP. I can't comment on whether it works over FTP, you'll have to try it.

Solution 4:

Depending of what you're actually trying to do, another completely different approach could be use curlftps to mount a ftp folder, and then maybe rsync the two "local" folders.

The installation is different depending on your distro so I can't generalize on that, but you need to installfuse and curlftpfs (prolly Debian already has fuse install by default), then:

  1. sudo apt-get install curlftpfs

  2. Make sure the fuse module is loaded (modprobe fuse)

  3. sudo curlftpfs /path/to/ftp/folder/ -o user=username:password,allow_other

Note that there's no space after the last comma (it's not a typo!). If you're satisfied with that or don't want to make that every time, you can add it to your fstab (usually in /etc/fstab):

curlftpfs#user:[email protected] /path/to/ftp/folder/ fuse auto,user,uid=1000,allow_other 0 0

In that case, you have to make sure the fuse module is loaded before.

Be advised though, of two things:

  • That the developer dropped the project one or two years ago, so I don't know how usable/stable for the time being.
  • If the password contains a weird character curlftpfs could fail (maybe you can do something with the .netrc).

Solution 5:

There is weex...

Weex is an utility designed to automate the task of remotely maintaining a web page or other FTP archive. It will synchronize a set of local files to a remote server by performing uploads and remote deletes as required.