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Synchronization Solution on Windows (RSYNC)

rsync-windows.jpg

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These are the basic steps to set up and use an rsync tool for synchronization on Windows.

RSYNC Server

Setup RSYNC Server on Windows

i. Manual Setup

  1. Install RSYNC on the server machines.
    Install Rsync software like a linux through Chocolatey
choco install rsync -y
  1. On the server, create a folder to share
mkdir -p C:\rsync_share

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e.g. C:\rsync_share. as rsync share folder.

  1. On the server,Create the C:\rsync\rsyncd.conf file with the following contents:
[rsync_share] 
path = /cygdrive/c/rsync_share
use chroot = no
ignore errors  
read only = no
list = yes

This configures the share name as "rsync_share" pointing to the C:\rsync_share folder.

Use cygdrive path prefix as /cygdrive/c/rsync_share

  1. On the server, open PowerShell and run the rsync daemon:
rsync --daemon --config=C:\rsync\rsyncd.conf

This will run the rsync daemon using the config file C:\rsync\rsyncd.conf.

  1. You may need to configure firewall rules on the server to allow incoming TCP connections to port 873

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(The rsync daemon default port).

  1. Rsync service is set to run automatically on startup on the server via "Task Scheduler".

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ii. Automatic via Script

Here are Windows scripts to automatically install rsync, configure it, and open the firewall port:
  1. Update Policy to allow execute self PowerShell script.
Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
Execution Policy Change
The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust. Changing the execution policy might expose
you to the security risks described in the about_Execution_Policies help topic at
https:/go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170. Do you want to change the execution policy?
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is "N"): y
  1. Create Windows PowerShell Script
Save all below content to a PowerShell script as names "rsync-config.ps1"
# Create rsync config and share folders
New-Item -Path C:\rsync -ItemType Directory
New-Item -Path C:\rsync_share -ItemType Directory

# Create rsync.conf file
@"
[rsync_share]
path = /cygdrive/c/rsync_share
ignore errors
read only = no
list = yes
auth users = rsync
secrets file = /cygdrive/c/rsync/rsync.passwd
"@ | Add-Content -Path C:\rsync\rsyncd.conf

# Open port 873 for rsync
New-NetFirewallRule `
    -Name "Rsync Daemon (873)" `
    -DisplayName "Rsync Daemon (873)" `
    -Protocol TCP `
    -LocalPort 873

# Create scheduled task to run rsync daemon
$Trigger = New-ScheduledTaskTrigger -AtStartup
$Action = New-ScheduledTaskAction `
    -Execute "Powershell.exe" `
    -Argument "rsync --daemon --config=C:\rsync\rsyncd.conf"
Register-ScheduledTask `
    -TaskName "Rsync Daemon" `
    -Trigger $Trigger `
    -Action $Action `
    -RunLevel Highest `
    -User System
ParameterDescriptionPath
rsyncConfiguration folder for rsyncC:rsync\
rsync_shareShared folder for rsyncC:rsync_share\
/cygdrive/c/rsync_shareCygwin path prefix up to the shared folder locationC:rsync_share\
auth users = rsyncSpecifies that only the "rsync" user can connect
secrets file = /cygdrive/c/rsync/rsync.passwdSpecifies the location of the password file that will be used for authenticating rsync connections.C:rsyncrsync.passwd

The format of the rsync password file(C:rsyncrsync.passwd) is as follows:

username:password
  • username: This is the username for the rsync account.
  • password: This is the password for the rsync account.

Each line in the file represents a single rsync account. Create multiple accounts by adding additional lines to the file.

  1. Execute the PowerShell Script

2023-06-08_151758.png

run on Windows server to automatically setup rsync daemon, create share folder names "rsync_share" and configure the firewall. moreover, the rsync service startup on reboot.

RSYNC Client

Setup RSYNC Client on Windows

Install RSYNC on the client machines.
Install Rsync software like a linux through Chocolatey

choco install rsync -y

Operating

i. Manual

On the client PC, create a folder to store rsync data

mkdir -p C:\rsync_client
Directory: C:\

Mode LastWriteTime Length Name

---- ------------- ------ ----

d----- 7/11/2023 12:46 PM rsync_client

For example:

To sync files from client to server (PUSH):

rsync -avz /cygdrive/c/rsync_client  rsync://server_ip_address/rsync_share

To sync files from server to client (PULL):

rsync -avz rsync://server_ip_address/rsync_share /cygdrive/c/rsync_client 

To sync files from server to client with --progress flag on Linux

rsync -avz --progress --update --chmod=ugo=rwX --delete rsync://server_ip_address/rsync_share ./rsync_client

2023-06-08_163246.png

OptionDescription
-aEnables archive mode
-vEnables verbose output
-zEnables compression
--progressDisplays progress during the transfer
--updateSkips files that are newer on the destination
--chmod=ugo=rwXSets permissions of synced files
--deleteRemoves files on the destination that do not exist on the source
rsync://server_ip_address/rsync_shareSpecifies the remote directory as rsync_share
./ClientFolderSpecifies the current directory on the local machine

i. Automatic via Script

Update Policy to allow execute self PowerShell script.

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
  1. Create Windows PowerShell Script
Save all below content to a PowerShell script as names "rsync-client.ps1"
# Set variables
$RsyncPullFolder = "C:\rsync_pull"
$RsyncConfigFolder = "C:\rsync"
$Source = "/cygdrive/c/rsync_pull"
$Destination = "rsync_server_ip::share"
$Username = "rsync"
$Password = "P@ssw0rd123!"
$TaskName = "Rsync Pull"
$TriggerTime = "08:00"


# Check if rsync_pull and rsync folders exist, and create them if they don't
if (!(Test-Path $RsyncPullFolder)) {
    New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $RsyncPullFolder
}
if (!(Test-Path $RsyncConfigFolder)) {
    New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $RsyncConfigFolder
}
New-Item -Path "$RsyncConfigFolder" -Name "rsync.passwd" -ItemType "File"
Add-Content -Path "$RsyncConfigFolder\rsync.passwd" -Value "$Password"


# Build rsync command
$RsyncCommand = "rsync -avz --progress --update --chmod=ugo=rwX --delete --password-file=/cygdrive/c/rsync/rsync.passwd $Username@$Destination $Source"

# Create scheduled task to run rsync command
$Trigger = New-ScheduledTaskTrigger -Daily -At $TriggerTime
$Action = New-ScheduledTaskAction -Execute "Powershell.exe" -Argument "$RsyncCommand"
Register-ScheduledTask -TaskName $TaskName -Trigger $Trigger -Action $Action -RunLevel Highest -User "SYSTEM"
VariableDescription
$RsyncPullFolderSpecifies the download directory on the local machine
$RsyncConfigFolderSpecifies the config file storage directory on the local machine
$SourceSpecifies the source directory on the local machine
$DestinationSpecifies the destination directory on the remote server
$UsernameSpecifies the username of the rsync user on the remote server
$PasswordSpecifies the password for the rsync user on the remote server
$TaskNameSpecifies the name of the scheduled task
$TriggerTimeSpecifies the time when the scheduled task will run

This script runs on a Windows client and automatically sets up an rsync schedule, creates an rsync folder named 'rsync_pull', and configures the username and password for authorization.


Conclusion

rsync can be a reliable and efficient solution for file synchronization on Windows, with its ability to preserve file attributes, compress data during transfer, and show verbose output.

To use rsync on Windows, you can install a version of rsync compatible with Windows, configure your system's firewall and network settings, and create a configuration file to specify the files and directories to be synced.


Reference