Matthew Todd

rsync --partial

Living here in East Africa, I’m learning how to be productive with a less-than-blindingly-fast internet connection. It’s fun, really: another externally-imposed constraint that calls forth creativity.

I’ve solved most of my bandwidth problems by using desktop clients (Mail, NetNewsWire, Actiontastic) instead of web-based ones (Gmail, Bloglines, Tracks). But lately a different sort of hurdle has come downloading large files with intermittent internet access—it’s quite painful to lose half a Linux install CD when the connection drops!

Now, rsync has long been my friend, but just today I’ve found its default behavior is NOT to resume downloads midstream after a dropped connection as I’d expected—if the files don’t match, you start back at the very beginning. But, thankfully, there is a command line option you can use to make it right.

Which brings me to the whole point of this post:

rsync --partial matthewtodd.org:~/downloads/debian.iso .

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