By Jessie / Last update October 26, 2022

What Is Rsync?

Rsync (Remote Sync) is a Linux/Unix-based tool. It can synchronize files between Servers or simply move files between Servers without using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Using the Rsync command, you can synchronize files and directories across directories, disks or networked computers.

Rsync

Can You Use Rsync between Two Windows Servers?

Although Rsync is a Linux-based tool, many Windows users want to use Rsync between two Windows Servers as well. And you can achieve the goal by running the Rsync command.

If you would like to run Linux commands on a Windows system, you need to do some preparation work first. By the way, it may be a little bit complicated. The following section will explain how to do this in detail.

If you are looking for an easier way to synchronize remotely, you can use the Rsync alternative to help you.

How to Use Rsync between Two Windows Servers

Rsync is a fast and versatile command-line utility for synchronizing files and directories between two locations over a remote shell.

To run Linux commands on Windows, you can install a tool on your computer called Windows Subsystem for Linux. It allows you to run the Linux distribution in command line mode. You can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Follow this WSL Installation Guide provided by Microsoft to install Windows Subsystem for Linux on your Windows Server computer. And you’ll see 2 options:

  • For the Simplified install: You just need to run wsl--install as an administrator in a command window and restart your computer to use WSL, but to use this method you need to join the Windows Insiders Program and install the appropriate preview version of the system.
  • For the Manual install: Manual installation is a little more complicated, first, you need to enter this command in PowerShell as an administrator.

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

Enable Wsl

Then you can update to WSL 2 or continue using WSL 1. For the latter, you can now select a Linux distribution in Microsoft Store.

Wsl

Note: When you first launch the Linux distribution, you'll be asked to wait for a few minutes till the files are stored on your computer because the Rsync progress is not very fast. Also, you need to create a user account with password for the Linux distribution.

Step 2. When the WSL and Linux distribution has been set up. To install and use Rsync in Windows Server, you need to install Git for Windows, which allows you to run the Rsync command with Git Bash.

Git For Windows

Step 3. Then, you can install Rsync on Windows Server. Download Rsync, use 7-zip to extract it and move rsync.exe to C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin.

Step 4. After installation, you can follow the command below to copy and sync files in different situations.

  • To copy based on file type, run the command below:

rsync /home/jon/Desktop/data/*.jpg /home/jon/Desktop/backupdata/

  • To copy based on file size, excute the command below:

rsync --max-size=2k /home/jon/Desktop/data/ /home/jon/Desktop/backupdata/

  • To copy entire folders by follow the command below:

rsync --recursive /home/jon/Desktop/data /home/jon/Desktop/data2

Best Rsync Alternative to Sync Files between Two Windows Servers (Recommended)

For most users, running the Linux command line on Windows Server is very complicated, and easy to make mistakes. If you are worried about data loss, you can use the best Rsyn alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server to sync files between two Windows Servers. It can help you sync local files and network files in simple steps and you can enjoy the following advantages.

  • Complete sync solutions: You can sync files from source to destination with different sync methods, including Basic Sync, Mirror Sync, Real-Time Sync, and Two-Way Sync.
  • Scheduled synchronization: You can set a fixed interval such as daily, weekly, monthly, event trigger and USB plug-in to automatically sync between two Servers.
  • Multiple storage devices: You can use an internal disk, external disk, USB disk, network, cloud device, etc as the source or destination in a sync task. So you can use any device you like and create multiple backups to add an extra layer of data security. 

Before you start the sync between two Windows Servers, you need to do some preparation work.

  • Make sure the two Windows Server computers are in the same network location.
  • Create a shared folder on the server computer where you want to sync files and set full permission for everyone.

Set Permission to Local Users

  • Download the best Rsync alternative AOMEI Backupper Server and install it on the first server computer. You can use it on Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, 2011, 2008, etc and Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista.
Download Free Trial Windows Server & PC
Secure Download

Now you can follow the graphic tutorial below to sync between two Windows Servers.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Server and click Sync > Basic Sync.

File Sync

Step 2. Then click Add Files or Add Folders to select all the data you want to sync on the local server. 

Add Sync Destination

Step 3. Click where the arrow point > Add Share or NAS Device, and input the network path of another server computer.  Select a shared folder in the following window and click OK. 

Add Share or NAS Devices

Step 4. Confirm all your operations and click Start Sync to sync between two Windows Servers. To sync files between two Windows Servers automatically, before that, click Schedule Sync and select Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers and USB Plug in.

Note that the Basic Sync is the basis of all the sync methods, by default, it will not sync deleted files if you don't set it manually. And based on it, this software provides you with 3 advanced methods in the following: 

  • Real-Time Sync:  It offers the fastest sync frequency among all the sync methods and syncs files in real time.
  • Mirror SyncIt mirrors folders from source to destination and ensures your data is always safe in the destination path.  Since no one can modify or delete files in it as well as add other files to it. 
  • Two-Way Sync: Any changes made to the first Server directory or second Server directory will be synchronized to the other side.

💛 Bonus tip: backup server files to AOMEI Cloud

There is a growing trend to backup files to cloud storage. You can backup files to AOMEI Cloud if you have an AOMEI account. You'll get 1TB free storage for 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.

AOMEI Cloud

Summary

Syncing files with Rsync is an effective way to protect data and promote work efficiency. This article shows you how to use Rsync between two Windows Servers. You need to run the Rsync command in Windows, which is very complicated for most users.

For an easier way, you can use the best Rsync alternative tool AOMEI Backupper Server to help you. It not only can easily meet your need to sync files in the Windows system, but also provides multiple synchronization methods. You can also set fixed intervals to do the automatic synchronization. To protect unlimited PCs and servers, try AOMEI Backupper Techplus