RDIST(1)                    General Commands Manual                   RDIST(1)


     rdist - remote file distribution client program


     rdist [-DFnV] [-A num] [-a num] [-c mini_distfile] [-d var=value]
           [-f distfile] [-L remote_logopts] [-l local_logopts] [-M maxproc]
           [-m host] [-o distopts] [-P rsh-path] [-p rdistd-path] [-t timeout]
           [name ...]


     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 commands 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.
     If the file /etc/Distfile exists, it will be run automatically by the
     clock daemon cron(8), via the system script daily(8).

     If name is specified, it 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.

     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 command:

           /bin/sh -c rdistd -S

     Otherwise, rdist will run the command:

           ssh <host> -l <login_name> rdistd -S

     host is the name of the target host; login_name is the name of the user
     to make the connection as.

     On each target host rdist will attempt to run the command:

           rdistd -S

     Or if the -p option was specified, rdist will attempt to run the command:

           <rdistd path> -S

     If no -p option is specified, or <rdistd path> is a simple filename,
     rdistd(1) 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 filesystem
             that must exist for rdist to update or install a file.

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

     -c mini_distfile
             Forces rdist to interpret the remaining arguments as a small
             distfile.  The format is:

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

             The equivalent distfile is as follows:

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

     -D      Enable copious debugging messages.

     -d var=value
             Define var to have value.  This option is used to define or
             override variable definitions in 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 distfile.  If `-' (dash) is used
             then read from standard input (stdin).

     -L remote_logopts
             Set remote logging options.  See the section MESSAGE LOGGING for
             details on the syntax for remote_logopts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                     Enable a check on the 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.

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

                     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 used.

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

                     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 and stuck 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.

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

                     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 updated.

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

                     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.

             noexec  Automatically exclude executable binary files in elf(5)
                     format from being checked or updated.

                     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.

             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

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

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

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

             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 and no mail will be sent.

             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 structure.
                     For example, rdisting a list of files such as /p/dir1/f1
                     and /p/dir2/f2 to /tmp/dir would create files
                     /tmp/dir/p/dir1/f1 and /tmp/dir/p/dir2/f2 instead of
                     /tmp/dir/dir1/f1 and /tmp/dir/dir2/f2.

                     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.

     -P rsh-path
             Set the path to the remote shell command.  rsh-path may be a
             colon separated list of possible pathnames, in which case the
             first component of the path to exist is used.

     -p rdistd-path
             Set the path where the rdistd server is searched for on the
             target host.

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

     -V      Print version information and exit.


     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> :: <timestamp 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 timestamp file (third format).

     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).

     Labels are optional.  They are used to identify a specific command to
     execute (for example, allowing an update of a subset of a repository).

     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 addition,
     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 ksh(1).  They
     can be escaped with a backslash.  The `~' character is also expanded in
     the same way as ksh(1) but is expanded separately on the local and
     destination hosts.  When the -o whole 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

           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 directories.
     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 -o distopts option as specified above
     has the same semantics as on the command line except distopts only
     applies to the files in the source list.  The login name used on the
     destination 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 basic regular expressions (see re_format(7) 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, for example, to rebuild private databases 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 updated.
        REMFILE   The full pathname of the remote file that was just updated.
        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 environment
     variable.  Each file name in FILES is separated by a `:' (colon).

     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 -o
     chknfs option just for this one host.


     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 and the remote server each
     maintain their own copy of what types of messages to log to what

     The -l local_logopts option specifies the logging options to use locally;
     -L remote_logopts specifies the logging options to pass to the remote

     Logging options should be of the form:


     The valid facility names are:

           file    Log to a file.  To specify the file name, use the format
                   "file=filename=types".  For example:


           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.

           stdout  Messages to standard output.

           syslog  Use the syslogd(8) facility.

     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:

           all     All but debug messages.

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

           debug   Debugging information.

           ferror  Fatal errors.

           info    General information.

           nerror  Normal errors that are not fatal.

           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 the distfile.

                   Warnings about errors which are not as serious as nerror
                   type 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 /tmp/rdist.log.


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

     TMPDIR  Name of the temporary directory to use.  The default is /tmp.


     {d,D}istfile       rdist command file.
     /etc/Distfile      System-wide rdist command file.
     $TMPDIR/rdist*     Temporary file for update lists.


     The following is an example distfile:

           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 ;

           sendmail.cf :: stamp.cory
                   notify root@cory ;

     Using the above distfile:

     Update everything that's out of date, making any relevant notifications:

           $ rdist

     Update files in /usr/src/bin to host "arpa", except for files with names
     ending ".o" or "/SCCS":

           $ rdist srcs

     Update sendmail.cf if it's older than timestamp file stamp.cory,
     notifying root@cory if an update has happened:

           $ rdist sendmail.cf


     rdistd(1), sh(1), ssh(1), re_format(7), daily(8), syslogd(8)


     The options [-bhiNOqRrsvwxy] are still recognized for backwards


     If the basename of a file (the last component in the pathname) is `.',
     rdist assumes the remote (destination) name is a directory.  That is,
     /tmp/. means that /tmp should be a directory on the remote host.


     Source files must reside on the local host where rdist is executed.

     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, 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 6.2                     January 1, 2017                    OpenBSD 6.2

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