rsyncing read-only files

tim.conway at tim.conway at
Wed May 29 09:41:03 EST 2002

Sorry this answer is slow in coming, and if someone has already answered 
it privately (i don't see it in the list).
the rsyncd WILL be running as root.  It's opening port 873, which is < 
1024.  However, unless you specify otherwise, the file access will be done 
as the user "nobody" (usually uid=2).  Specify a user who can read all the 
files you must make available via the rsyncd, with the "uid = username" 
line in the rsyncd.conf.  If you need read access to multiple users 
useronlyreads, you'll have to use root.  Your call.  Consider security. If 
your users don't want just anybody to bypass their blocking of reads, make 
sure you do good password protection on the module.  Good luck.
     uid  The "uid" option specifies the user  name  or  user  id
          that file transfers to and from that module should take
          place  as  when  the  daemon  was  run  as   root.   In

SunOS 5.7           Last change: 12 Feb 1999                    4

Headers, Environments, and Macros                  rsyncd.conf(5)

          combination  with the "gid" option this determines what
          file permissions are available. The default is uid  -2,
          which is normally the user "nobody".

     gid  The "gid" option specifies the group name or  group  id
          that file transfers to and from that module should take
          place as when the daemon was run as root. This  comple-
          ments the "uid" option. The default is gid -2, which is
          normally the group "nobody".

Tim Conway
tim.conway at
Philips Semiconductor - Longmont TC
1880 Industrial Circle, Suite D
Longmont, CO 80501
Available via SameTime Connect within Philips, n9hmg on AIM
perl -e 'print pack(nnnnnnnnnnnn, 
".\n" '
"There are some who call me.... Tim?"

Mike Rubel <mrubel at>
Sent by: rsync-admin at
05/22/2002 07:48 PM

        To:     Stewart Mclean <S.Mclean at>
        cc:     "'rsync at'" <rsync at>
(bcc: Tim Conway/LMT/SC/PHILIPS)
        Subject:        Re: rsyncing read-only files

> I have two machines, call then A and B. I'm using rsync on B to download
> from A (I'm running rsync in daemon mode on A from inetd.conf). The 
> on B works fine except for one problem: when I run rsync on B to do the
> downloading from A, I get permission denied for files on A that have 
> 600. 
> Is there a way to get rsync to download all files, irrespective of their
> modes?

Hi Stewart,

I may be wrong, but this sounds like it might be a file permissions
problem and not an rsync problem.  Files that have permission 600 can be
read and written by their owner, but no-one else.  If their owner is root,
then rsyncd can only read them if it is running as root.  What user is
rsyncd running as now?  Here's one way to find out:

ps -f `pidof rsyncd`

If this is indeed your problem, you have a couple of options:
1) run rsyncd as that user (works, but potential security issue)
2) find a new solution

Hope that helps--

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