Synced folder type: rsync

Vagrant can use rsync as a mechanism to sync a folder to the guest machine. This synced folder type is useful primarily in situations where other synced folder mechanisms are not available, such as when NFS or VirtualBox shared folders are not available in the guest machine.

The rsync synced folder does a one-time one-way sync from the machine running to the machine being started by Vagrant.

The rsync and rsync-auto commands can be used to force a resync and to automatically resync when changes occur in the filesystem. Without running these commands, Vagrant only syncs the folders on vagrant up or vagrant reload.


To use the rsync synced folder type, the machine running Vagrant must have rsync (or rsync.exe) on the path. This executable is expected to behave like the standard rsync tool.

On Windows, rsync installed with Cygwin or MinGW will be detected by Vagrant and works well.

The destination machine must also have rsync installed, but Vagrant can automatically install rsync into many operating systems. If Vagrant is unable to automatically install rsync for your operating system, it will tell you.

The destination folder will be created as the user initiating the connection, this is vagrant by default. This user requires the appropiate permissions on the destination folder.


The rsync synced folder type accepts the following options:

  • rsync__args (array of strings) - A list of arguments to supply to rsync. By default this is ["--verbose", "--archive", "--delete", "-z", "--copy-links"].

  • rsync__auto (boolean) - If false, then rsync-auto will not watch and automatically sync this folder. By default, this is true.

  • rsync__chown (boolean) - If false, then the owner and group options for the synced folder are ignored and Vagrant will not execute a recursive chown. This defaults to true. This option exists because the chown causes issues for some development environments. Note that any rsync__args options for ownership will be overridden by rsync__chown.

  • rsync__exclude (string or array of strings) - A list of files or directories to exclude from the sync. The values can be any acceptable rsync exclude pattern. By default, the ".vagrant/" directory is excluded. We recommend excluding revision control directories such as ".git/" as well.

  • rsync__rsync_path (string) - The path on the remote host where rsync is and how it is executed. This is platform specific but defaults to "sudo rsync" for many guests.

  • rsync__verbose (boolean) - If true, then the output from the rsync process will be echoed to the console. The output of rsync is subject to rsync__args of course. By default, this is false.


The following is an example of using RSync to sync a folder:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.synced_folder ".", "/vagrant", type: "rsync",
    rsync__exclude: ".git/"

Rsync to a restricted folder

If required to copy to a destination where vagrant user does not have permissions, use "--rsync-path='sudo rsync'" to run rsync with sudo on the guest

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.synced_folder "bin", "/usr/local/bin", type: "rsync",
    rsync__exclude: ".git/",
    rsync__args: ["--verbose", "--rsync-path='sudo rsync'", "--archive", "--delete", "-z"]

© 2010–2017 Mitchell Hashimoto
Licensed under the MPL 2.0 License.