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Last active September 29, 2023 14:45
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Rsync over SSH - (40MB/s over 1GB NICs)

The fastest remote directory rsync over ssh archival I can muster (40MB/s over 1gb NICs)

This creates an archive that does the following:

rsync (Everyone seems to like -z, but it is much slower for me)

  • a: archive mode - rescursive, preserves owner, preserves permissions, preserves modification times, preserves group, copies symlinks as symlinks, preserves device files.
  • H: preserves hard-links
  • A: preserves ACLs
  • X: preserves extended attributes
  • x: don't cross file-system boundaries
  • v: increase verbosity
  • --numeric-ds: don't map uid/gid values by user/group name
  • --delete: delete extraneous files from dest dirs (differential clean-up during sync)
  • --progress: show progress during transfer


  • T: turn off pseudo-tty to decrease cpu load on destination.
  • c arcfour: use the weakest but fastest SSH encryption. Must specify "Ciphers arcfour" in sshd_config on destination.
  • o Compression=no: Turn off SSH compression.
  • x: turn off X forwarding if it is on by default.


rsync -aHAXxv --numeric-ids --delete --progress -e "ssh -T -c arcfour -o Compression=no -x" user@<source>:<source_dir> <dest_dir>


rsync -aHAXxv --numeric-ids --delete --progress -e "ssh -T -c arcfour -o Compression=no -x" [source_dir] [dest_host:/dest_dir]
rsync -aHAXxv --numeric-ids --delete --progress -e "ssh -T -c arcfour -o Compression=no -x" user@<source>:<source_dir> <dest_dir>
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j4ys0n commented May 19, 2022

strange - i'm only getting 27-30MB/s with rsync -aHAxv --numeric-ids --progress -e "ssh -T -c -o Compression=no -x"
transferring a 1.6TB file between two Epyc servers with plenty of resources and 10GB networking. i get 500MB/s transferring video files from my desktop to my storage server. not sure what's up here.

update: it increased to 52 MB/s, which is... definitely not as fast as I would like, but it's fine.

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Not recommended, I almost trashed my entire movies collection by doing this, good thing I canceled it.


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ip-rw commented Sep 11, 2022

I'm not sure if people are still interested in this, but if you don't care about encryption then tar + netcat is by far the quickest way to transfer directories:

nc -l -p 7777 | tar -xpf -

tar -cf - sourceDir/ | nc [dest ip] 7777

throw in 'pv' to see xfer speed.

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pricesgoingup commented Sep 11, 2022 via email

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Great discussion.

I found this to be the best option. "ssh -T -c -o Compression=no -x" .Probably aes256 was faster than arcfour due to hardware optimizations or something. Also might play with/without rsync -z based on the quantity/size of the files to transfer. No compression was faster for an already compressed single big tar.gz file

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pricesgoingup commented Sep 27, 2022 via email

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