Grsync: An Easy Rsync Front-end GUI Backup Tool

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rsync is a command-line backup tool that synchronizes files and directories from one system to another. Those who aren’t familiar with command line rsync, there is a GUI alternative available called Grsync.


Grsync is a graphical user interface front-end for the rsync tool. Its a cross platform tool normally works under Linux, Windows OS and Mac OS. In this article, let us start to learn how to synchronize data from one system to another in Ubuntu like derivatives with Grsync.

Install Grsync on Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint

Grsync is available in the default repositories. So let install it using apt-get command:

sk@sk:~$ sudo apt-get install grsync

Start Grsync from the Menu or Dash. The default interface will look like below.

Grsync: default _001

Backup with Grsync

In this example, I am going to backup by local system files to my external hard disk. Say for example, I am going to backup my Documents folder to my external hard drive. Lets get started now.

Create a new session and give it a name or use the default session. Here I use the default session.

Grsync: default _002

There are three options such as Basic, Advanced and Extra. Most options are self-explanatory. Just place the mouse cursor over the items. They will popup the help screen that shows what it really does.

And one more notable advantage is the Simulation option in the File menu. It tells you that you have selected the correct options.


Once the Simulation process complete, it will show the results if you have selected anything wrong.

Grsync: default _005

If you haven’t got any errors, click Execute to save the changes from the File menu and it will start backing up the files/folders that you have selected.


And the output should be as follows.

Grsync: default _007

Verify the output

Go to your external media and check for the backup files. It should be certainly there.

sk@sk:~$ sudo ls -l /media/sk/Y\ SERVER1/SK_Backup/
total 4
drwx------ 2 sk sk 4096 Jun 25 13:31 Documents

Synchronize Files/Folders

Grsync will only copy the files/directories which we selected by default. We have to create a new session to synchronize files. Let’s call the session as Synchronize. Click on the (+) sign in the Grsync interface.

Grsync: default _009

It will create a new session called Synchronize. Here you have to enter the network folder (i.e external hard drive folder) as source location and local system folder as destination location. Please note that you don’t have to enter the full path in the destination. Say for example, if you want to synchronize the contents of the folder Documents from your external hard drive to local system, just enter the destination location where exactly the Documents folder lies. In my case Documents folder is in Home folder. Here I enter my destination path as /home/sk and not as /home/sk/documents.

Grsync: Synchronize _008

Check for any errors by clicking on the Simulation button from the File menu. If it everything shows correct, you’re done now.

Scheduling Backups

To schedule backups, add the both sessions in your crontab file:

sk@sk:~$ sudo crontab -e
# m h dom mon dow command
0 11 * * * grsync -e "default"
0 12 * * * grsync -e "Synchronize"

The above cron job will perform the backup from local to remote folder at 11am and synchronize from network to local system at 12am respectively. Save your crontab file. That’s it!

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