exit code 23 - inappropriate error for copying symlinks?

Phil Howard phil-rsync at ipal.net
Mon May 20 08:17:01 EST 2002

On Mon, May 20, 2002 at 10:59:41AM -0400, Crisler, Jon wrote:

| Error 23 is an incomplete copy.  As I understand it, there is an
| inconsistancy between the first check for differences, and the start of the
| copy process.
|  I run into this all the time, but for my implemention it is a legitimate
| error.

If the receiver creates the symlink, isn't that complete?  If so, why
would there need to be an error just because the symlink happens to be

If the source tree has a dangling symlink, IMHO, it should be copied
and made dangling in the destination, without that being treated as an
error (there are tools to scan file trees for dangling links).  You
wouldn't think of treating a device node file as an error just because
the device it identifies doesn't happen to be configured in the system,
would you?

OTOH, if the symlink is valid at the source, but points to something
that cannot be copyed by rsync (outside the tree or excluded), and so
it would become dangling at the destination, then I can see treating
that as an error in some way.

These semantics are often difficult to deal with, and so options that
describe what the user prefers to happen seem to be the solution.  One
thing I'd like to see is symlinks that work their way through points
outside of what rsync is copying and back in (such as absolute links,
but also including relative links going outside then back in), be
translated so they point to the same object using the same means on
the destination system.  For example an absolute link would become an
absolute link on the destination, but changed to reflect the change in
filesystem point in the destination (if actually changed).  Relative
would be more complicated.  Clearly an option is needed to enable this
as it can potentiall break established things not expecting this.

| Phil Howard - KA9WGN |   Dallas   | http://linuxhomepage.com/ |
| phil-nospam at ipal.net | Texas, USA | http://phil.ipal.org/     |

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