Using rsync to keep folders in sync on a Synology Diskstation NAS

Now I have backups working between my Synology Diskstation NAS and a storage account in Microsoft Azure (with over half a TB of photos so far backed up in the cloud), the next stage is to consolidate some more images into the folder that the backup works from.

I don’t want to remove them from their source (which in this case is the copy of my OneDrive data on my home drive) but I do want to archive all of the iPhone images I have there to the master photos folder so they are included in the backup.

Reading around the Synology forums suggests that this is not as straightforward as one might think. It appears there’s no easy way to synchronise two folders on the same NAS within the DSM software; but then I stumbled across Zarino Zappia (@zarino)’s post about a Synology-flavoured rsync backup script.

By following Zarino’s advice and using ssh to connect to the box as admin, I was able to achieve what I wanted with the following command:

rsync --itemize-changes --archive --progress --verbose --inplace --exclude '*@SynoResource' --exclude '@eaDir' --exclude '*.vsmeta' --exclude '.DS_Store' --exclude 'Thumbs.db' /volume1/homes/mark/OneDrive/iPhone\ Photos/ /volume1/photos/Digital\ Photos\ \(Master\)/Mark\'s\ iPhone/

(BTW, right click is the way to paste text to the command line in PuTTY!)

Some people on the Synology forums had suggested synchronising via another computer on the network would be fast! That sounds strange to me – logically a copy will always be faster on a single device with no network in between. For reference, it took about 20 minutes to rsync 32GB of images/videos on my on my DS916+.

Incidentally, the Error 23 in the screen shots was actually a typo in my command (missing space before one of the –exclude options). I re-ran with –dry-run to see which files were not transferred…

The next step will be to script this and get it running as a scheduled task but that can wait for another day…

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