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Backup Windows XP Computers using RSYNC and NetWare 6.5

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Gary Childers

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Updated: 1 Jan 2005

I am using RSYNC to backup data from a Windows XP laptop to a NetWare 6.5 server.

I started with a NetWare 6.5 server with the RSYNC (2.6.0) component installed. I then downloaded RSYNC for Windows (available from here) to install the cygwin UNIX emulation system, or (I prefer) a minimal setup found here. ).

The NetWare server runs the RSYNC daemon, listening for rsync requests on default TCP port 873.

You can then run NetWare Remote Manager (serverIP:8009) | Manage Applications | Rsync Configuration to configure the server.

For each Windows XP client, create a "Branch Office" definition, select the volume to hold the replicated data, and a path, and the IP address of the XP client under "Branch Office IP Address".

You may find it easier to manually edit the SYS:\ETC\rsyncd.conf file, especially after you have added one location, so you can copy and paste additional locations (modules). I used the minimal setup for rsync on my XP machine, which only needs rsync.exe and cygwin1.dll.

After unzipping the needed files to C:\RSYNC, I created a batch file to rsync the c:\my documents folder to the RSYNC server.


@echo off
@echo Synchronizing data files with Remote Server ...

c:\rsync\rsync.exe -rav "/my documents" NW65::XPLAPTOP1 --delete --exclude-
from=c:\rsync\excludes.txt >c:\rsync\rsync.log

@echo Done !

The -rav means -r for recursive, -a for archive, -v for verbose. The source string is "/my documents". The destination string is "NW65::XPLAPTOP1" (the server name can be resolved via the HOSTS file, and the XPLAPTOP1 corresponds to the section specified in the rsyncd.conf file on the RSYNC server). The double-colon "::" specifies that rsync communication will occur via TCP, default port 873. The -- delete switch will delete files on the target that have been deleted on the source (use this carefully!). The --exclude-from switch will exclude copying files that are listed in the specified text file (like, *.mp3). The ending switch ">c:\rsync\rsync.log" sends the verbose logging to the specified file. The final "pause" command is useful for troubleshooting.

I also created a Windows shortcut to the batch file, and copied it to the desktop, so that all the end user has to do is double-click.

The EXCLUDES.TXT file contains file types that I don't want replicated:

On the LAN, rsync will copy 500MB of data in about 5 minutes. After that, it will only need to perform updates, adds and deletes, so it becomes very efficient. A WAN connection, such as a T1, is considerably slower. If there are firewalls in between, port 873 will have to be opened for the link.


uid = nobody 
gid = nobody
max connections = 0
syslog facility = local5
pid file = SYS:/rsync/ 
log file = SYS:/rsync/rsyncd.log
motd file = SYS:/rsync/rsyncd.motd

   read only=no
   use chroot=no
   strict modes = no
   transfer logging=yes
   use lfs=yes
   hosts allow=
   hosts deny=*

   read only=no
   use chroot=no
   strict modes = no
   transfer logging=yes
   use lfs=yes
   hosts allow=
   hosts deny=*


If you have any questions you may contact Gary at

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