This is equivalent to -rlptgoD. It is a quick way of saying you want recursion and want to
preserve almost everything (with -H being a notable omission). The only exception to the above
equivalence is when --files-from is specified, in which case -r is not implied.
Note that -a does not preserve hardlinks, because finding multiply-linked files is expensive. You
must separately specify -H.
This option increases the amount of information you are given during the transfer. By default,
rsync works silently. A single -v will give you information about what files are being transferred
and a brief summary at the end. Two -v options will give you information on what files are being
skipped and slightly more information at the end. More than two -v options should only be used if
you are debugging rsync.
Note that the names of the transferred files that are output are done using a default --out-format
of "%n%L", which tells you just the name of the file and, if the item is a link, where it points.
At the single -v level of verbosity, this does not mention when a file gets its attributes
changed. If you ask for an itemized list of changed attributes (either --itemize-changes or
adding "%i" to the --out-format setting), the output (on the client) increases to mention all
items that are changed in any way. See the --out-format option for more details.
This option allows you to choose an alternative remote shell program to use for communication
between the local and remote copies of rsync. Typically, rsync is configured to use ssh by
default, but you may prefer to use rsh on a local network.
If this option is used with [user@]host::module/path, then the remote shell COMMAND will be used
to run an rsync daemon on the remote host, and all data will be transmitted through that remote
shell connection, rather than through a direct socket connection to a running rsync daemon on the
remote host. See the section "USING RSYNC-DAEMON FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL CONNECTION" above.
Command-line arguments are permitted in COMMAND provided that COMMAND is presented to rsync as a
single argument. You must use spaces (not tabs or other whitespace) to separate the command and
args from each other, and you can use single- and/or double-quotes to preserve spaces in an
argument (but not backslashes). Note that doubling a single-quote inside a single-quoted string
gives you a single-quote; likewise for double-quotes (though you need to pay attention to which
quotes your shell is parsing and which quotes rsync is parsing). Some examples:
-e 'ssh -p 2234'
-e 'ssh -o "ProxyCommand nohup ssh firewall nc -w1 %h %p"'
(Note that ssh users can alternately customize site-specific connect options in their .ssh/config
You can also choose the remote shell program using the RSYNC_RSH environment variable, which
accepts the same range of values as -e.
See also the --blocking-io option which is affected by this option.