Uploading under windows / Linux using rsync

I've recently moved my blog across to dreamhost and was looking for the best way to upload files locally to a remote server. Ideally I only want to upload the changes not the whole site every time.

So this is how I did it.


If your using windows then one way to gain access to rsync which is typically a linux / unix tool is via the use of MSYS2.
Windows 10 does have an option for a bash shell now, but personally I tend to prefer MSYS2.



The first file we're going to create is rsync.rules. This file lists which content should be excluded from the upload to the live site. It's similar to a .gitignore file but for rsync instead.
Note that I'm excluding the .git directory (since the source of the blog is a git repository backed up to a private git server). I'm also excluding the rsync scripts themselves, the attic directories which are just the history of edits for dokuwiki. This also includes anything private I don't want to show up on the live site and anything within the cache which will be auto regenerated anyway.

- /.git/
- /Readme.md
- /php_errors.log
- /web.config
- /rsync.live.bat
- /rsync.rules
- /rsync.sh
- /data/attic/*
- /data/media_attic/*
- /data/cache/*
- /data/pages/private/


Next we're going to create a separate file for our password.
This way we can avoid it being checked into git or source control (if we're doing that)



Since we're using rsync via a bash shell next I need a shell script to do the actual upload. We're using sshpass to pass in the password for ssh access to rsync.

  • userid - should be replaced with the username you've setup for upload
  • PasswordHere - should be replaced with the password for the username
  • examplesite.com - represents whichever domain your using for your website


# Create directory if it doesn't exist
sshpass -f "rsync.pass" ssh userid@ssh.examplesite.com mkdir -p examplesite.com

# sync from localdir to site
sshpass -f "rsync.pass" rsync -e "/usr/bin/ssh" -av --delete --filter "merge rsync.rules"  . userid@ssh.examplesite.com:examplesite.com

# mark cache as invalid
sshpass -f "rsync.pass" ssh userid@ssh.examplesite.com "cd examplesite.com; touch ./conf/local.php"

# wait for user input to leave window open
read -p "Press any key to continue" x

The first line creates a directory on the server if it doesn't already exist.
Next we do the job of actually uploading the site.
Next we update the modified date / time of the configuration file for dokuwiki which causes the cache to be invalidated.
The last line just waits for a key press to prevent the window from closing so you can see if there have been any errors.


Next because I'm launching this from windows I just need a simple batch file to call msys2 and run the shell script

C:\msys64\msys2_shell.cmd -mingw64 -here -c "./rsync.sh"

Running the scripts

At this stage you should now have all three of the rsync scripts within the root of your web directory.
To upload the site it will look something like this.

cd D:\examplesite

You can then log onto your site via ssh to confirm the files have been uploaded.
If your looking for a good ssh terminal for windows I'd suggest

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  • blog/2019/rsync.win.1/start.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/02/16 14:55
  • by ric