Grabbing IETF RFCs and I-Ds in ebook format using rsync

Posted by Dave on 19 October 2012

IETF drafts get no love from my Tablet. I 've tried sending drafts to Instapaper for offline reading, I've tried using Readability but all of these fail to render correctly. Is it too much to ask to be able to read RFC's on the go?

Fortunately I found that the RFCs and I-D's are published to in both epub and mobi formats. To pull the full list of epub:

rsync -avz --include="*.epub" --exclude="*" /destination

And for mobi:

rsync -avz --include="*.mobi" --exclude="*" /destination

These are pretty hefty downloads so you might want to tailor these to your current needs by creating using a txt file full of include rules, lets call it filter.txt

Working Group RFC & Internet Drafts

Add lines like this to your filter.txt to download the latest RFCs and I-Ds for the WGs you are following:


Published RFCs

To download the mother load of RFCs add the following line:

Published RFCs by Area

To download RFCs by Area add the following:


All you need to do then is run:

rsync -avz --include-from="/path/to/filter.txt" --exclude="*" /destination

And you are done. The Ebooks are updated daily so to make sure you stay up to date set up a cron job to fetch them for you. First you need create a new file called and copy/paste the following:

rsync -avz --include-from="/path/to/filter.txt" --exclude="*" /destination

Then it is a case of setting up the cron job. Adding the following to your crontab will sync daily at 3am:

0 3 * * * username /path/to/