7th May, 2013

rsync your project to your web server

First, we need to check you have rsync on your development machine (not your production server). To check, open up a terminal and type

rsync --version

You should get a little message back that looks like this:

rsync  version 3.0.9  protocol version 30
Copyright (C) 1996-2011 by Andrew Tridgell, Wayne Davison, and others.
Web site: http://rsync.samba.org/

Then some other text. If this doesn't happen, you need to install it. (Not sure where from, it was already on my Mac)

Note: I did once find a RackSpace server which wouldn't allow me to use rsync to transfer to, I had to install rsync on the server as well, let me know if you have this problem.

"Ok, I have it, now what?"

Great! I'm going to assume the following:

  1. You have a web project on your machine.

  2. You have a web server that you can access via SSH.

  3. You may have local files you do NOT wish to transfer.

  4. You are vaguely comfortable typing things into a terminal.

"Stop patronizing me, let's go"

Ok, this is what the command looks like:

rsync -vrcn --exclude-from=/path/to/exclude /local/path/to/projects/project/ username_for_server@server_ip_address:/full/path/to/project/

Copy this out and put in your text editor so we can go through it

Let's break it down:

-vrcn

V for Verbose. R for Recurse through directories C for use Checksum to compare the changes (for some reason this works best for me) and N means don't ACTUALLY copy anything just tell me what changes will be made.

When you're ready to copy files, use -vrc instead of -vrcn.

ALWAYS use -vrcn to check what will be copied BEFORE you copy it. This is great for seeing how out of date your production environment is.

--exclude-from=/path/to/exclude

Put the filenames of files you do not wish to transmit in a file called 'exclude' somewhere and put the full path in place of /path/to/exclude

You can use * in your exclude file as a wildcard. There are loads of tutorials on exclude files, I won't go into details here.

/local/path/to/projects/project/

Change this to the full path to your project you want to copy

username_for_server@SERVER_IP_ADDRESS:/full/path/to/project/

Change username_for_server to the username given to you by your hosting company

SERVER_IP_ADDRESS should be your IP address of the server also from your hosting company. If you have DNS set up, you can just put the domain like www.whatever.com

/full/path/to/project/ should be the directory on the server which is the online version of your local directory. If you are on shared hosting, you'll probably have to put /home/your_user_name/ at the beginning, this is fine.

Note: make sure you leave that : before you put your directory

That's it.

I like to paste my command into a text editor so I can get it right before running it in a terminal. As long as you leave that n in the -vrcn, it will always be doing a simulation not the actual copy.

 

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The opinions expressed here are my own and not those of my employer.