Using rsync to backup remote n00 files

I had trouble rsync remote Linux 600 files (rw——-) today. I knew that I came across this issue before but couldn’t remember how I resolved it. Therefore I had to waste time looking for and verifying a solution. Hence this blog post.

This is the problem I had earlier:

rsync -zr userA@remoteServer:/var/www/website/ /home/user/Documents/webSiteBackup/website/www/
rsync: send_files failed to open "/var/www/website/wp-config.php": Permission denied (13)
rsync error: some files/attrs were not transferred (see previous errors) (code 23) at main.c(1655) [generator=3.1.0]

So the issue is that wp-config.php is a 600 file, meaning only root can read and write it. Although userA@remoteServer has sudo privilege, I still need to run visudo so that it won’t ask for password when this user runs rsync.

Here is the line I added into visudo:

userA    ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/rsync

And here is the slightly modified bash command to run:

rsync --rsync-path="sudo rsync" -zr userA@remoteServer:/var/www/website/ /home/user/Documents/webSiteBackup/website/www/

Hope it helps you as well.

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