How to use rsync to backup and synchronize files to USB drive

Portable USB drive (sometimes called pendrive) has gained popularity as a medium for storing documents. Computer users would work on the files that they store on the usb drive and occasionally would copy them on their computer, or vice versa.

However this would cause problems if there’s a lot of files being worked on and transfered between usb drive and computers. Valuable time might be lost solely for identifying which of the files are more recent and need to be updated.

Fortunately there’s ‘rsync’, a tool which can be used to synchronize files between the computer and usb drive. Assuming you use Debian or Ubuntu, you only need to start ‘synaptic’ and select ‘rsync’ package. Once installed, start the terminal application and you can begin synchronizing the files using this command

$ rsync -r -vv /home/username/Documents/ /media/your_usb_drive

The general format of rsync command is :

$ rsync -r -vv <local document directory> <remote backup directory>

rsync only updates file which has been changed and would save time and precious harddisk space from maintaining duplicate files.

A Windows version is also available at :