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A Grunt multitask for accessing the file copying and syncing capabilities of the rsync command line utility. Uses the rsyncwrapper npm module for the core functionality.

Grunt compatability

  • v0.1.0 and above should be Grunt v0.4 compatible
  • v0.0.5 and below are Grunt v0.3 compatible

If you're upgrading to Grunt v0.4 you shouldn't need to make any changes to your existing grunt-rsync task config, just be sure to npm install the latest version. But be sure to place an issue if you have any problems.


A reasonably modern version of rsync (>=v2.6.9) in your PATH.


$ npm install grunt-rsync


Add a rsync object to your Grunt config and grunt.loadNpmTasks("grunt-rsync").

All options defined in the config are passed verbatim to rsyncwrapper, so check that project's readme for more details on the possible options.

For example, the following task config defines three targets. The dist target could be used to create a distribution of a website ready for deployment, excluding files related to Git and uncompiled SCSS. The deploy-staging and deploy-live targets could be used to copy the distribution to the relevant remote hosts over ssh.

rsync: {
    dist: {
        src: "./",
        dest: "../dist",
        recursive: true,
        exclude: [".git*","*.scss"]
    "deploy-staging": {
        src: "../dist/",
        dest: "/var/www/site",
        host: "user@staging-host",
        port: "1234", // Use the rsyncwrapper port option to set a non-standard ssh port if required. 
        recursive: true,
        syncDest: true
    "deploy-live": {
        src: "../dist/",
        dest: "/var/www/site",
        host: "user@live-host",
        recursive: true,
        syncDest: true

Wildcards, exclude patterns, globbing etc.

Any wildcards, exclude patterns and globbing of paths are handled by rsync itself. So importantly this task does not use Grunt's in-built path expanding and globbing. For more information on rsync's syntax check the rsync manpages. For information about how this task's options relate to rsync's functionality check rsyncwrapper.


Basic tests are run on Vows Async BDD via this package's Gruntfile. To test grunt-rsync clone the repo and install the devDependancies:

$ npm install --dev

Next you'll have to install the Node vows npm package globally, and ensure you've got grunt-cli working. Then:

$ npm test