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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     rdist - remote file distribution client program

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     rdist [-DFn] [-A num] [-a num]  [-d  var=value]  [-l  <local
           [-L  <remote  logopts>] [-f distfile] [-M maxproc] [-m
           [-o distopts]  [-t  timeout]  [-p  <rdistd-path>]  [-P
           [name ...]

     rdist -DFn -c name ...  [login@]host[:dest]

     rdist -Server

     rdist -V

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     rdist  is  a  program  to maintain identical copies of files
over multiple
     hosts.  It preserves the owner, group, mode,  and  mtime  of
files if possible
 and can update programs that are executing.  rdist reads
     from distfile to direct the updating of files and/or  directories.  If
     distfile  is  `-', the standard input is used.  If no -f option is present,
     the program looks first for distfile, then Distfile  to  use
as the input.
     If  no  names  are specified on the command line, rdist will
update all of
     the files and directories listed  in  distfile.   Otherwise,
the argument is
     taken to be the name of a file to be updated or the label of
a command to
     execute.  If label and file names conflict, it is assumed to
be a label.
     These  may  be  used together to update specific files using
specific commands.

     The -c option forces rdist to interpret the remaining  arguments as a
     small distfile.  The equivalent distfile is as follows.

           ( name ... ) -> [login@]host
                   install [dest] ;

     The -Server option is recognized to provide partial backward
     support for older versions of rdist which used  this  option
to put rdist
     into server mode.  If rdist is started with the -Server command line option,
 it will attempt to  exec  (run)  the  old  version  of

     rdist  uses  a  remote  shell  command to access each target
host.  By default,
 ssh(1) is used, unless overridden by the -P option or
the RSH environment
  variable.   If  the  target  host  is  the string
localhost and the
     remote user name is the same as the local user  name,  rdist
will run the

           /bin/sh -c rdistd -S

     Otherwise, rdist run will run the command

           ssh host -l remuser rdistd -S

     where  host  is  the name of the target host, remuser is the
name of the user
 to make the connection as, and rdistd is the rdist server
command on
     the target host as shown below.

     On each target host rdist will attempt to run the command

           rdistd -S


           <rdistd path> -S

     if  the -p option was specified.  If no -p option is included, or the
     <rdistd path> is a simple filename, rdistd or <rdistd  path>
must be somewhere
  in  the  PATH of the user running rdist on the remote
(target) host.

     The options are as follows:

     -A num  Set the minimum number of free files (inodes)  on  a
             that  must  exist  for  rdist to update or install a

     -a num  Set the minimum amount of free space (in bytes) on a
             that  must  exist  for  rdist to update or install a

     -D      Enable copious debugging messages.

     -d var=value
             Define var to have value.  This option  is  used  to
define or override
  variable  definitions  in the distfile.  value
can be the empty
 string, one name, or a list of  names  surrounded
by parentheses
             and separated by tabs and/or spaces.

     -F       Do not fork any child rdist processes.  All clients
are updated

     -f distfile
             Set the name of the distfile to use to be  distfile.
If distfile
             is specified as ``-'' (dash) then read from standard

     -l logopts
             Set local logging options.  See the section  MESSAGE
             details on the syntax for logopts.

     -L logopts
             Set  remote logging options.  logopts is the same as
for local
             logging except the values are passed to  the  remote
             (rdistd).   See  the section MESSAGE LOGGING for details on the
             syntax for logopts.

     -M num  Set the maximum  number  of  simultaneously  running
child rdist processes
 to num.  The default is 4.

     -m machine
             Limit which machines are to be updated.  Multiple -m
             can be given to limit updates to  a  subset  of  the
hosts listed in
             the distfile.

     -n      Print the commands without executing them.  This option is useful
             for debugging a distfile.

             Specify the dist options to enable.  distopts  is  a
comma separated
  list  of  options  which  are listed below.  The
valid values for
             distopts are:

             verify  Verify that the files are up to date on  all
the hosts.
                     Any  files that are out of date will be displayed but no
                     files will be changed nor will any  mail  be

             whole   Whole mode.  The whole file name is appended
to the destination
 directory name.  Normally, only the
last component
  of a name is used when renaming files.
This will
                     preserve  the  directory  structure  of  the
files being
                     copied  instead  of flattening the directory
                     For example, rdisting a list of  files  such
                     /path/dir1/f1  and /path/dir2/f2 to /tmp/dir
would create
                     files       /tmp/dir/path/dir1/f1        and
/tmp/dir/path/dir2/f2 instead
      of      /tmp/dir/dir1/f1      and

             noexec  Automatically exclude executable files  that
are in
                     a.out(5) format from being checked or updated.

                     Younger mode.  Files are normally updated if
their mtime
                     and  size  (see stat(2)) disagree.  This option causes
                     rdist not to update files that  are  younger
than the master
 copy.  This can be used to prevent newer
copies on
                     other hosts from being replaced.  A  warning
message is
                     printed  for  files which are newer than the
master copy.

                     Binary comparison.  Perform a binary comparison and update
  files  if they differ rather than comparing dates and

             follow  Follow symbolic links.  Copy the  file  that
the link
                     points to rather than the link itself.

                     Ignore unresolved links.  rdist will normally try to
                     maintain the link structure of  files  being
                     and warn the user if all the links cannot be

             chknfs  Do not check or update files on target  host
that reside
                     on NFS filesystems.

                     Enable check on target host to see if a file
resides on a
                     read-only filesystem.  If a file does,  then
no checking
                     or updating of the file is attempted.

             chksym   If  the target on the remote host is a symbolic link, but
                     is not on the master host, the remote target
will be left
                     a symbolic link.  This behavior is generally
considered a
                     bug in the original version of rdist, but is
present to
                     allow compatibility with older versions.

                     If  the  group  of  a file to be transferred
does not exist
                     on the destination host, use  the  specified
group instead.
                     If groupname is not specified, the bin group
is used.

                     If the owner of a  file  to  be  transferred
does not exist
                     on  the  destination host, use the specified
owner instead.
                     If owner is not specified, the user  bin  is

                     Do not send the whole file when the size and
the modification
 time match.  Instead, just update the
                     group, and permissions as necessary.

             quiet    Quiet  mode.  Files that are being modified
are normally
                     printed on  standard  output.   This  option
suppresses that.

             remove   Remove extraneous files.  If a directory is
being updated,
 any files that exist on the remote  host
that do not
                     exist  in  the master directory are removed.
This is useful
 for maintaining truly  identical  copies
of directories.

                     Do  not  check  user ownership of files that
already exist.
                     The file ownership is only set when the file
is updated.

                     Do  not  check group ownership of files that
already exist.
                     The file ownership is only set when the file
is updated.

                     Do  not  check file and directory permission
modes.  The
                     permission mode is only set when the file is

                     Do  not descend into a directory.  Normally,
rdist will
                     recursively check directories.  If this  option is enabled,
  then  any  files  listed in the file
list in the distfile
 that are directories  are  not  recursively scanned.
                     Only  the  existence, ownership, and mode of
the directory
                     are checked.

                     Use the numeric  group  ID  (GID)  to  check
group ownership
                     instead of the group name.

                     Use  the numeric user ID (UID) to check user
ownership instead
 of the user name.

                     Save files that are updated instead  of  removing them.
                     Any target file that is updated is first renamed from
                     file to file.OLD.

                     When savetargets and history  are  both  defined then the
                     target file that is updated is first renamed
from file to
                     file.NNN where NNN increases for each generation update.
                     The first generation is 001, and the last is
999.  After
                     999 generations, the counter is reset to 001
and 001 will
                     get overwritten all the time.  This is undesirable behavior,
 so some other method needs  to  be  devised to clean up
                     or limit the number of generations.

             sparse  Enable checking for sparse (aka ``wholely'')
files.  One
                     of the most common types of sparse files are
those produced
 by db(3).  This option adds some additional processing
 overhead so it should  only  be  enabled for targets
                     likely to contain sparse files.

     -p <rdistd-path>
             Set the path where the rdistd server is searched for
on the target

     -P <rsh-path>
             Set the path  to  the  remote  shell  command.   The
rsh-path may be a
             colon separated list of possible pathnames.  In this
case, the
             first component of the path to exist is used.  e.g.,
             /usr/bin/ssh:/usr/bin/rsh, /usr/bin/ssh.

     -t timeout
             Set  the timeout period (in seconds) for waiting for
             from the remote rdist server.  The  default  is  900

     -V      Print version information and exit.

MESSAGE LOGGING    [Toc]    [Back]

     rdist  uses  a  collection  of predefined message facilities
that each contain
 a list of message types specifying which types of  messages to send
     to  that  facility.  The local client (rdist) and the remote
     (rdistd) each maintain their own copy of what types of  messages to log to
     what facilities.

     The  -l logopts option to rdist tells rdist what logging options to use
     locally.  The -L logopts option to rdist  tells  rdist  what
logging options
     to pass to the remote rdistd server.

     logopts should be of the form


     The valid facility names are:

     stdout  Messages to standard output.

     file     Log  to  a file.  To specify the file name, use the
             ``file=filename=types''.  e.g.,

     syslog  Use the syslogd(8) facility.

     notify  Use the internal rdist notify facility.  This facility is used in
             conjunction with the notify keyword in a distfile to
specify what
             messages are mailed to the notify address.

     types should be a comma separated  list  of  message  types.
Each message
     type  specified  enables that message level.  This is unlike
the syslog(3)
     system facility which uses an ascending order  scheme.   The
following are
     the valid types:

     change   Things  that  change.  This includes files that are
installed or
             updated in some way.

     info    General information.

     notice  General info about things  that  change.   This  includes things like
             making  directories which are needed in order to install a specific
 target, but which are not explicitly specified in

     nerror  Normal errors that are not fatal.

     ferror  Fatal errors.

             Warnings  about  errors  which are not as serious as
nerror type

     debug   Debugging information.

     all     All but debug messages.

     Here is a sample command line option:

           -l                        stdout=all:syslog=change,notice:file=/tmp/rdist.log=all

     This  entry  will  set local message logging to have all but
debug messages
     sent to standard output, change and notice messages will  be
sent to
     syslog(3),  and  all  messages  will  be written to the file

DISTFILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     The distfile contains a sequence of entries that specify the
files to be
     copied,  the  destination hosts, and what operations to perform to do the
     updating.  Each entry has one of the following formats.

           <variable name> `=' <name list>
           [ label: ] <source list> `->' <destination list> <command list>
           [  label: ] <source list> `::' <time_stamp file> <command list>

     The first format is used for defining variables.  The second
format is
     used  for distributing files to other hosts.  The third format is used for
     making lists of files that have been changed since some given date.  The
     source  list specifies a list of files and/or directories on
the local
     host which are to be used as the master copy  for  distribution.  The
     destination  list  is the list of hosts to which these files
are to be
     copied.  Each file in the source list is added to a list  of
changes if
     the  file  is out of date on the host which is being updated
(second format)
 or the file is newer than the time  stamp  file  (third

     Labels  are  optional.   They are used to identify a command
for partial updates.

     Newlines, tabs, and blanks are only used as  separators  and
are otherwise
     ignored.  Comments begin with `#' and end with a newline.

     Variables  to  be  expanded  begin  with `$' followed by one
character or a
     name enclosed in curly braces (see the examples at the end).

     The source and destination lists have the following format:

           `(' <zero or more names separated by whitespace> `)'

     These simple lists can be modified by using one level of set
     subtraction, or intersection like this:

           list '-' list
           list '+' list
           list '&' list

     If additional modifications are needed (e.g., ``all  servers
and client
     machines except for the OSF/1 machines'') then the list will
have to be
     explicitly constructed in steps  using  ``temporary''  variables.

     The  shell  meta-characters `[', `]', `{', `}', `*', and `?'
are recognized
 and expanded (on the local host only) in the same  way
as csh(1).
     They  can be escaped with a backslash.  The `~' character is
also expanded
     in the same way as csh(1) but is expanded separately on  the
local and
     destination  hosts.   When the -owhole option is used with a
file name that
     begins with `~', everything except the home directory is appended to the
     destination name.  File names which do not begin with `/' or
`~' use the
     destination user's home directory as the root directory  for
the rest of
     the file name.

     The  command  list  consists of zero or more commands of the
following format.

           `install'     <options>         opt_dest_name    `;'
           `notify'      <name list>                        `;'
           `except'      <name list>                        `;'
           `except_pat'  <pattern list>                     `;'
           `special'     <name list>       string           `;'
           `cmdspecial'  <name list>       string           `;'

     The install command is used to copy out of date files and/or
     Each  source  file is copied to each host in the destination
list.  Directories
   are   recursively   copied   in   the   same   way.
opt_dest_name is an optional
 parameter to rename files.  If no install command appears in the
     command list or the destination name is not  specified,  the
source file
     name  is used.  Directories in the path name will be created
if they do
     not exist on the remote  host.   The  -odistopts  option  as
specified above
     has  the  same  semantics  as  on  the  command  line except
distopts only apply
     to the files in the source list.  The login name used on the
     host  is  the  same as the local host unless the destination
name is of the
     format ``login@host''.

     The notify command is used to mail the list of files updated
(and any errors
 that may have occurred) to the listed names.  If no `@'
appears in
     the name, the destination  host  is  appended  to  the  name
(e.g., name1@host,
     name2@host, ...).

     The except command is used to update all of the files in the
source list
     except for the files listed in name list.  This  is  usually
used to copy
     everything in a directory except certain files.

     The  except_pat  command  is  like the except command except
that pattern
     list is a list of regular expressions  (see  ed(1)  for  details).  If one of
     the  patterns  matches  some string within a file name, that
file will be
     ignored.  Note that since `' is a quote character,  it  must
be doubled to
     become  part  of  the regular expression.  Variables are expanded in pattern
     list but not shell file pattern matching characters.  To include a `$',
     it must be escaped with `'.

     The  special  command is used to specify sh(1) commands that
are to be executed
 on the remote host after the file in name list is  updated or installed.
   If  the  name list is omitted then the shell commands will be executed
 for every file updated or installed.   string  starts
and ends with
     `"' and can cross multiple lines in distfile.  Multiple commands to the
     shell should be separated by `;'.  Commands are executed  in
the user's
     home  directory on the host being updated.  The special command can be
     used to rebuild private databases, etc.  after a program has
been updated.
   The  following  environment variables are set for each
special command:

     FILE      The full pathname of the local file that was  just

     REMFILE   The full pathname of the remote file that was just

     BASEFILE  The basename of the remote file that was just  updated.

     The  cmdspecial  command  is similar to the special command,
except it is
     executed only when the entire command is  completed  instead
of after each
     file  is  updated.  The list of files is placed in the FILES
     variable.  Each file name in FILES is  separated  by  a  `:'

     If  a  hostname  ends in a `+' (plus sign), then the plus is
stripped off
     and NFS checks are disabled.  This  is  equivalent  to  disabling the
     -ochknfs option just for this one host.

     The following is a small example.

           HOSTS = ( matisse root@arpa)

           FILES = ( /bin /lib /usr/bin /usr/games
                   /usr/lib   /usr/man/man?   /usr/ucb   /usr/local/rdist )

           EXLIB = ( Mail.rc aliases aliases.db crontab dshrc
                   sendmail.cf sendmail.hf sendmail.st uucp vfont

           ${FILES} -> ${HOSTS}
                   install -oremove,chknfs ;
                   except /usr/lib/${EXLIB} ;
                   except /usr/games/lib ;
                   special  /usr/lib/sendmail  "/usr/lib/sendmail
-bi" ;

           /usr/src/bin -> arpa
                   except_pat ( \.o/SCCS) ;

           IMAGEN = (ips dviimp catdvi)

           /usr/local/${IMAGEN} -> arpa
                   install /usr/local/lib ;
                   notify ralph ;

           ${FILES} :: stamp.cory
                   notify root@cory ;

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

     TMPDIR   Name  of  temporary  directory  to use.  Default is

     RSH     Name of the default remote  shell  program  to  use.
Default is

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     distfile        input command file
     $TMPDIR/rdist*  temporary file for update lists

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     csh(1), rsh(1), sh(1), ssh(1), stat(2), rcmdsh(3)

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

     If  the basename of a file  (the last component in the pathname) is ".",
     then rdist assumes the remote (destination) name is a directory.  i.e.,
     /tmp/.   means that /tmp should be a directory on the remote

     The following options are  still  recognized  for  backwards

           -v -N -O -q -b -r -R -s -w -y -h -i -x

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Source  files  must  reside on the local host where rdist is

     Variable expansion only works for name lists;  there  should
be a general
     macro facility.

     rdist  aborts  on  files which have a negative mtime (before
Jan 1, 1970).

     If a hardlinked file is listed more than once  in  the  same
target, then
     rdist  will  report  missing  links.  Only one instance of a
link should be
     listed in each target.

     The defowner, defgroup, and updateperm  options  are  extensions to the
     6.1.0  protocol  and  will not work with earlier versions of
rdist 6.

OpenBSD      3.6                            May      9,      2002
[ Back ]
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