Rsync Between Servers Automatically

Part 1 – Setting up SSH key authentication

First, we need to make sure the DESTSERVER has the ability to use key authentication enabled. Find your sshd configuration file (usually ‘/etc/ssh/sshd_config’) and enable the following options if they are not already set.

RSAAuthentication yes
PubkeyAuthentication yes
AuthorizedKeysFile .ssh/authorized_keys

If you edit the file be sure to restart sshd afterwards.

# /etc/init.d/sshd restart

Next, on the SOURCESERVER we will create the public / private key pair to be used for authentication with the following command.

# ssh-keygen -t rsa
  • Note: Do not enter a passphrase for this, just hit enter when prompted.

This should create 2 files, a public key file and a private key file. The public key file (usually [homedir]/.ssh/ we will upload to the DESTSERVER. The private key file (usually [homedir]/.ssh/id_rsa) we will keep on the SOURCESERVER.

  • Be sure to keep this private key safe. With it anyone will be able to connect to the DESTSERVER that contains the public key.

Now we will plant the public key we created on to the DESTSERVER. Choose the user account which you will use to connect to on DESTSERVER, we’ll call this user ‘destuser’ for now.

In that account’s home directory, create a ‘.ssh’ subdirectory, and in that directory create a new text file called ‘authorized_keys’. If it already exists, great, use the existing file. Open the ‘authorized_keys’ file and paste in the contents of the public key you created in the previous step ( It should look something like the following

ssh-rsa <lots and lots of characters…> sourceuser@SOURCESERVER

Save the file and change the permissions to 600 for the file and 700 for the ‘.ssh’ directory.

Now to test that the keys are working. From the SOURCESERVER try logging in as normal using ssh to the DESTSERVER.

# ssh destuser@DESTSERVER

If all is working you should not be prompted for a password but instead connected directly to a shell on the DESTSERVER.

Part 2 – Creating the rsync script


Now for the rsync script.



echo $’\n\n’ >> $LOGFILE
for SERVER in web01 web02
        rsync -av –rsh=ssh $SOURCEPATH $DESTUSER@$SERVER:$DESTPATH 2>&1 >> $LOGFILE
        echo “Completed at: `/bin/date`” >> $LOGFILE
Part 3 – Setting up the cron job

This is optional. I assume web updates will be done manually.

Assuming everything has worked so far all that’s left is to setup a cron job to run the script automatically at a predefined interval.

Use the ‘crontab’ command to create a new cron job.

>sudo crontab -e -u updater

This will open an editor where you can schedule the job.

Enter the following to have the script run once every hour

0 * * * * /var/scripts/

Setting up a subversion repository

This is a bit old. From 2008 to be exact. But, I am putting it out there for reference anyway.

1. Install packages:
sudo apt-get install subversion libapache2-svn libapache-mod-dav apache2


Note: libapache-mod-dav is included in libapache2.2-common, so it may be unavailable or you do not need it.


2. Enable SSL:
sudo a2enmod ssl


check the ports.conf file, if ssl is already enabled we do not need to do the following:
sudo sh -c “echo ‘Listen 443’ >> /etc/apache2/ports.conf”


3. Generate Certificate:
Ubuntu < Feisty:
sudo apache2-ssl-certificate
Use the server name to be used for access the web server.

Ubuntu >= Feisty:
sudo apt-get install ssl-cert
sudo mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl
sudo /usr/sbin/make-ssl-cert /usr/share/ssl-cert/ssleay.cnf /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem


4. Create Virtual Host:
sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default /etc/apache2/sites-available/$SITENAME
sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/$SITENAME
NameVirtualHost *:443
<VirtualHost *:443>
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem
SSLProtocol all


5. Enable the site:
sudo a2ensite $SITENAME
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

A warning that complaints about failure of server name determination can be fixed by adding ServerName $SERVERNAME to the main Apache config /etc/apache2/apache2.conf


6. Adding repository(ies):
The following setup assumes we want to host multiple repositories.

$REPOS is “nbty” currently
sudo mkdir /var/svn/repositories
sudo svnadmin create /var/svn/repositories/$REPOS
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/svn/repositories/$REPOS
sudo chmod -R g+ws /var/svn/$REPOS


7. Adding Basic Authentication:

$AUTH_USER is svn with password mypassword
sudo htpasswd -c -m /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd $AUTH_USER


8. Enable and configure WebDAV and SVN:
Add to /etc/apache2/mods-available/dav_svn.conf
DAV svn
SVNParentPath /var/svn/repositories
AuthType Basic
AuthName “Subversion Repository”
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd
Require valid-user

and for non-anonymous access comment out:

(optionally the same configuration can be set for particular virtual host only, i.e. /etc/apache2/sites-available/$SITENAME)


$SITENAME is svn (ssl on svn01 and svn02)


Add to $SITENAME in /etc/apache2/sites-available:

# Specially log any Subversion operations.

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/svn.log “%t %u %{SVN-ACTION}e” env=SVN-ACTION


<Location /svn/company>

DAV svn

SVNPath /var/svn/repositories/company

SVNReposName “Companies Main Subversion Repository”



9. Finalization:
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart



$REPOS = company
Web access:
lynx https://svn01/svn/$REPOS exposes the repository.
lynx http://localhost/svn/$REPOS says: eat my shorts , i.e. 403-forbidden.


Now the sync:


  1. cd /var
  2. sudo mkdir svn
  3. sudo mkdir svn/repositories
  4. sudo svnadmin create /var/svn/repositories/company
  5. sudo adduser svn
    1. yourpassword is pwd
  6. sudo vipw
    1. change svn line from /bin/bash to /bin/false….we don’t want this user to log in to shell



Need to



An initial import:
svn import –username $AUTH_USER $A_FILE https://localhost/svn/$REPOS/testdir -m “Testing”

… and check-out:
svn co –username $AUTH_USER https://localhost/svn/$REPOS

To add a new repository just repeat the step 6 (without making the root directory of course).
If you wish to configure a single repository only, instead of point 6:
sudo svnadmin create /var/svn
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/svn
sudo chmod -R g+ws /var/svn

and in /etc/apache2/mods-available/dav_svn.conf (step 8) use this instead of SVNParentPath:
SVNPath /var/svn


sudo svnsync initialize file:///var/svn/repositories/nbty https://svn01/svn/company –username svn –password yourpassword


sudo svnsync synchronize file:///var/svn/repositories/company –username svn –password yourpassword