deleting (empty) directories

tim.conway at tim.conway at
Wed Oct 2 18:11:00 EST 2002

change the * to a .
"/scratch/temp/Departure/*" expands to "/scratch/temp/Departure/Quattro 
/scratch/temp/Departure/otherdir /scratch/temp/Departure/andanotherdir".
After removing Quattro, it's just "/scratch/temp/Departure/otherdir 
/scratch/temp/Departure/andanotherdir".  Only the items in the directory 
are considered.  Quattro isn't mentioned, and not touched.  you're saying 
make everything i've got in /scratch/temp/Departure's counterpart in 
Arrival just like in Departure.  making it "." means make the Arrival 
directory exactly like Departure.  Nice addition... "*" expands only to 
non-dot files, so if you had like a ".status" or something in Departure, 
it'll propogate with ".", but not "*".

Tim Conway
conway.tim at reorder name and reverse domain
303.682.4917 office, 303.921.0301 cell
Philips Semiconductor - Longmont TC
1880 Industrial Circle, Suite D
Longmont, CO 80501
Available via SameTime Connect within Philips, caesupport2 on AIM
"There are some who call me.... Tim?"

My old address <lucio at>
Sent by: rsync-admin at
10/02/2002 06:07 AM

        To:     Rsync Mailing List <rsync at>
        cc:     (bcc: Tim Conway/LMT/SC/PHILIPS)
        Subject:        deleting (empty) directories

I am evaluating rsync for the mirroring of a website and associated
database. To exercise it and establish the correct run string I need I am
running tests LOCALLY between two test directories.

I have a /scratch/temp/Departure and a /scratch/temp/Arrival trees. I
apply changes to the Departure tree, run rsync, and do a diff -r.

Now I delete a file in Departure
rm  Departure/Quattro/uno.file

rsync -vvv -rlptPzu --delete \
  /scratch/temp/Departure/* /scratch/temp/Arrival/

and it does work (deletes file from Arrival/Quattro/uno.file)

Now I delete the only other file in the same directory
rm  Departure/Quattro/due.file

and repeat rsync and it works too.

Now Departure/Quattro is empty so I can remove it
rmdir Departure/Quattro

and repeat rsync .... and the empty directory is NOT removed !!!
Why ?

Apparently if I do the same game one level below (e.g. with
Departure/Quattro/Sub) the empty directory Sub is instead deleted.

I am using rsync version 2.5.5 protocol version 26

Ah, using the --force option does not help. I tried that. From -vvv it
looks like that the missing "top level" directory Departure/Quattro
gets not listed at all (contrary to Departure/Quattro/Sub) and therefore
is ignored ... and Arrival/Quattro is left unchanged.

What am I doing wrong ?

Lucio Chiappetti - IASF/CNR - via Bassini 15 - I-20133 Milano (Italy)
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