1999 Linux Symposium

the rsync algorithm


The rsync Algorithm

This paper describes the rsync algorithm, which provides a nice way to remotely update files over a high latency, low bandwidth link. The paper itself concentrates on the core algorithm, giving the basic mathematical justifications and characterising the problem. In my presentation at OLS I will concentrate on some of the practical applications of the rsync algorithm, such as the rsync tool and recent work on getting the rsync algorithm into a variety of everyday protocols, such as CVS and HTTP.

Andrew Tridgell

Prior to joining Linuxcare, Andrew held a full-time position as a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Australian National University in Canberra. His research interests include parallel computing, network protocols, automatic speech recognition, and operating systems. Andrew spends his spare time working on various bits of free software. He is well known as the original author and current team leader for the Samba software package.

In addition to Samba, Andrew is recognized for his work on rsync, a fast file transfer program; Jitterbug, a Web-based bug tracking system; Nightcap, a learning chess program; and AP/Linux, a Linux port to the AP1000+ multicomputer. Andrew is also one of the privileged few to have witnessed the famous incident where Linus Torvalds was bitten by a penguin.

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