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Install rsync on the Client

Now you need to install the client application on the Windows client machine. The client can be downloaded from Sourceforge here.

Once you have installed, you need to add some environment variables. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Click the Advanced tab and then the Environment Variables button. Under the User Variables, create a new variable called PATH and set it to be the install location of cwRsync:


Add another user environment variable called RSYNC_RSH with a value of ssh.exe.

Now bring up a command window on the client, type in rsync and if the install is correct, you should get help relating to the various options on screen. Now is a good time to copy the private key file you created earlier to the client machine. I recommend creating a .ssh directory in your Documents And Settings, and putting it in there.


If your client machine (the one that is storing the backup) can connect to the Internet freely, then you can skip this section. But if your client computer is somewhere that is restricted from Internet access, you may need to go through some extra steps to connect to your server.

In my case, my machine at work is locked down so that access to only certain Internet ports are allowed, and all traffic must go via a proxy server. However, one outgoing port that is nearly always available is port 443 which is normally used for SSL (encrypted HTTP) traffic. Another advantage of using this port is that to any sysadmin, it just looks like we are visiting a lot of secure web pages!

So how do we do this? First up you need to open up the firewall that your server sits behind to allow traffic on port 443, which is why early we changed freeSSHd to listen on port 443. This is left as an exercise to the reader and should be able to be accomplished by opening port 443 in your router to the server machine's IP address.

Now you must set up the client machine to use the tunnel. We will use PuTTY again, since we already are using it on the server. I actually use a free program at work called Bitwise Tunnelier, since it is a bit more user friendly. But it requires a tricky installation that some people might not be able to do.

So load up PuTTY on the client machine and enter your hostname (the public IP of the router behind which the server sits) as usual, being sure to set Port 443. Next enter your Proxy settings by expanding the Connection category and clicking on Proxy. (Figure 5)

Entering the Client proxy settings

Figure 5: Entering the Client proxy settings

If you don't know what your proxy server is, you should be able to pick it up from Windows. Go to Tools->Internet Options->Connections >LAN Settings and it should be there.

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