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Running commands in the background

Run the command, but get the shell back. End the command with the "&"
rsync /home/user1/bigfile /home/user2/. &
Note that with the above, if you close the terminal, the session will close (unlike a screen session).  

Run the command in the background independent of the terminal.  
If you want to run a command, have it keep running, and log out and have it still run, you need to nohup it. 
nohup rsync /home/user1/bigfile /home/user2/. & 
Any output will be stored in a file called nohup.out.

If you want to do the same as above, but don't want to save the output and send it to dev/null, then do the following: 
nohup rsync /home/user1/bigfile /home/user2/. &>/dev/null &