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Basic rsync backup to Strongspace

… re-blogged from our [Strongspace Blog](https://www.strongspace.com/blog)

[rsync](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rsync) is a very popular and comes included on all Macs and is [available for windows](http://www.rsync.net/resources/howto/windows_rsync.html) and linux. It lets you efficiently backup files and folders over SSH and it is a great way to mirror data off to Strongspace.

However, it is one of those unix-y programs which has a [MILLION different options](http://ss64.com/bash/rsync_options.html) to twiddle and can be rather intimidating. I thought a basic post on how to use rsync with with Strongspace in the most general fashion would be useful.

### All you need to remember

`rsync -avz [source_path] [destination:destination_path]`

This is the basic command structure with a handful of basic options attached: compress the data, verbose output, recurse the source folders and preserve timestamps and user ids.

### Backup your Mac Desktop Strongspace:

`rsync -avz ~/Desktop username@username.strongspace.com:/strongspace/username/home`

One small bit to note is the difference between typing `~/Desktop` and `~/Desktop/` – the later way does not create a `Desktop` folder in Strongspace but sends all the *contents* of the Desktop into your destination. It can be a bit messy if that wasn’t your intention.

### Backup iPhoto to Strongspace:

`rsync -avz ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library username@username.strongspace.com:/strongspace/username/home`

Here is a simple example that sends the entire contents of your iPhoto library up to Strongspace.

### Making it simpler

Let’s admit, this isn’t a short command:

`rsync -avz ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library username@username.strongspace.com:/strongspace/username/home`

but you can shorten it down to this:

`rsync ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library ss:/strongspace/username/home`

First, do yourself the favor and setup a [SSH alias](https://www.strongspace.com/blog/type-less-with-a-strongspace-ssh-alias) and, if you want, [password-less login](https://www.strongspace.com/blog/password-less-login-with-ssh-keys). To make life even easier you can default rsync options by using a bash alias. Open Terminal and paste this line:

`echo ‘alias rsync=”rsync -avz”‘ >> .profile`

Now the next time you open a new Terminal window rsync will have those options set by default.

Happy sync’ing!