Content-type: text/html Man page of nrdist


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nrdist - Remote file distribution client program  


/usr/bin/nrdist [-DFn] [-A num] [-a num] [-d var=value] [-l <local logopts>] [-L <remote logopts>] [-f distfile] [-M maxproc] [-m host] [-odistopts] [-t timeout] [name...]

/usr/bin/nrdist -DFn -c name ... [login@]host[:dest]

/usr/bin/nrdist -Server

/usr/bin/nrdist -V



Sets the minimum number of free files (inodes) on a filesystem that must exist for nrdist to update or install a file. Sets the minimum amount of free space (in bytes) on a filesystem that must exist for nrdist to update or install a file. Turns on debugging output. Defines var to have value. This option is used to define or override variable definitions in the distfile. The value parameter can be an empty string, one name, or a list of names surrounded by parentheses and separated by tabs or spaces. Does not fork any child nrdist processes. All clients are updated sequentially. Sets the name of the distfile to use to be distfile. If distfile is specified as - (dash), read from standard input (stdin). Sets local logging options. See MESSAGE LOGGING for details on the syntax for logopts. Sets remote logging options. The logopts is the same as for local logging except the values are passed to the remote server (rdistd). See MESSAGE LOGGING for details on the syntax for logopts. Sets the maximum number of simultaneously running child nrdist processes to num. The default is 4. Limits which machines are to be updated. Multiple -m arguments can be given to limit updates to a subset of the hosts listed in the distfile. Prints the commands without executing them. This option is useful for debugging distfile. Specifies the dist options to enable. The distopts is a comma-separated list of the following options: 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 Any files that are out of date will be displayed but no files will be changed nor any mail sent. 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 /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 /tmp/dir/dir2/f2. Automatically exclude executable files that are in a.out(4) format from being checked or updated. Younger mode. Files are normally updated if their mtime and size (see stat(2)) disagree. This option causes nrdist 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 sizes. Follow symbolic links. Copy the file that the link points to rather than the link itself. Ignore unresolved links. The nrdist command 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 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. 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 nrdist, but is present to allow compatibility with older versions. Quiet mode. Files that are being modified are normally printed on standard output. This option suppresses this. 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 updated. Do not descend into a directory. Normally nrdist will recursively check directories. If this option is enabled, 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 updates is first rename from file to file.OLD. Sets the timeout period (in seconds) for waiting for responses from the remote nrdist server. The default is 900 seconds. Print version information and exit.


The nrdist command is a program to maintain identical copies of files over multiple hosts. It preserves the owner, group, mode, and modification time of files if possible and can update programs that are executing. The nrdist command reads commands from distfile to direct the updating of files or directories, or both. If distfile is a - (dash), the standard input is used.

If no -f option is specified, the program looks first for distfile, then Distfile to use as the input. If no file names are specified on the command line, nrdist updates all of the files and directories listed in distfile. Otherwise, the argument is read as the name of a file to be updated or a command to execute. If the name of the file specified by the file argument is the same as the name of a command, the nrdist command treats the file name as a command. These may be used together to update specific files using specific commands.

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

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

The -Server option provides partial backward compatible support for older versions of nrdist that used this option to put nrdist into server mode. If nrdist is started with the -Server command line option, it attempts to exec (run) the old version of rdist. This option will only work if nrdist was compiled with the location of the old rdist (usually /usr/old/rdist) and that program is available at run time.

The nrdist command uses the rcmd(3) interface to access each target host. The nrdist command attempts to run the rdistd -S command on each target host. The nrdist command does not specify the absolute pathname to rdistd on the target host in order to avoid imposing any policy on where rdistd must be installed on target host. Therefore, rdistd must be somewhere in the $PATH of the user running nrdist on the remote (target) host.


The nrdist command 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 (nrdist) and the remote server (rdistd) each maintain their own copy of what types of messages to log to what facilities.

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

The form of logopts should be of form facility=types:facility=types...

The valid facility names are: Sends messages to standard output. Sends messages to a file. To specify the file name, use the following format: file=filename=types.

For example, file=/tmp/rdist.log=all,debug. Uses the syslogd(8) facility. Uses the internal nrdist 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.

The 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: Things that change. This includes files that are installed or updated in some way. General information. 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. Normal errors that are not fatal. Fatal errors. Warnings about errors which are not as serious as nerror type messages. Debugging information. 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 /tmp/rdist.log.


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 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).

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 a # (number sign) and end with a newline.

Variables to be expanded begin with a $ (dollar sign) followed by one character or a name enclosed in curly braces (see EXAMPLES).

The source and destination lists one of the following formats:

<name> ( <zero or more names separated by white-space> )

These simple lists can be modified by using one level of set addition, subtraction, or intersection as follows:

list - list list + list list & list

If additional modifications are needed (for example, all servers and client machines except for the Tru64 UNIX machines), 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 ~ (tilde) character is also expanded in the same way as csh, but is expanded separately on the local and destination hosts. When the -owhole option is used with a file name that begins with a ~, everything except the home directory is appended to the destination name. File names that do not begin with a / (slash) or a ~ 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 or directories. Each source file is copied to each host in the destination list. Directories are recursively copied in the same way. The opt_dest_name argument is an optional argument 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 are created if they do not exist on the remote host. The -odistopts option, as specified under OPTIONS, has the same semantics as on the command line except they only apply 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 @ (at sign) appears in the name, the destination host is appended to the name (for example, 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 $ (dollar sign), it must be escaped with \ (backslash).

The special command is used to specify sh 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, the shell commands will be executed for every file updated or installed. string starts and ends with " (double quote) and can cross multiple lines in distfile. Separate multiple commands to the shell with a ; (semicolon). Commands are executed in the user's home directory on the host being updated. The special command can be used to rebuild private databases after a program has been updated. The following environment variables are set for each special command: The full pathname of the local file that was just updated. The full pathname 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 environment variable $FILES. Each file name in $FILES is separated by a ; (semicolon).

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

The following is an example of a 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.dir aliases.pag crontab dshrc sendmail.fc sendmail.hf uucp vfont )

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

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

IMAGEN = (ips dviimp catdvi)

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

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



If the basename of a file (the last component in the pathname) is . (period), nrdist assumes the remote (destination) name is a directory. For example, /tmp/. means that /tmp is a directory on the remote host.

The following options are still recognized for backwards compatibility:

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



Name of temporary directory to use. Default is /tmp.


Input command file. Temporary file for update lists.


Commands:  sh(1), csh(1), rdist(1)

Functions:  stat(2), rcmd(3)




This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 02:42:58 GMT, October 02, 2010