Backup your Linux shared hosting data with rsync

Author: | Posted in howto No comments


Some web hosting service providers allow ssh access to Linux shared servers. That allows one to backup their data more easily using the rsync tool. The following is a simple yet fully functional example of a shell script that syncs the data from the remote server to a local destination. All you need to do is:

  • find out what Linux OS is installed on the remote shared location (usually Enterprise Linux OS’s such as RHEL/CentOS). Assuming the server runs a RHEL-like operating system, you need to find the OS version and architecture:


Run this on the remote server:

[code lang=”bash”]

cat /etc/*release*
uname -m
echo $PATH
rpm -q rsync (most likely will return nothing e.g. rsync is not installed)



  • download an rsync binary to put in your $HOME dir on the server (in $PATH or any other folder) e.g.:


Run this on your local machine:
rpm2cpio rsync-3.0.8-1.el6.rfx.x86_64.rpm | cpio -idmv
scp usr/bin/rsync remote_server:~/bin


Sample shell script (to be executed on your local machine):

ARGS="-azHhv --ignore-errors --stats --partial --rsync-path=~/bin/rsync"

rsync $ARGS -e "ssh -l $SSH_USER" $SERVER:~ ~/backup/ > $LOG_FILE 2>&1
if [ $? -eq 0 ];
   then printf "\nNo errors, all OK!" >> $LOG_FILE
   else printf "\nErrors found, check log file!" >> $LOG_FILE


Simply modify the script with your details: user name, server name, remote path on the server (the default is ~), the local path to store the backup (default is ~/backup), the path where you copied the rsync binary (default is ~/bin) and it is ready to use.

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