Two-way Rsync problems with Deletions

tim.conway at tim.conway at
Wed Oct 2 18:14:01 EST 2002

It looks like this is my "promote unison" day... quite a statement, 
considering i've never used it.
unison (
That's a two-way syncronizer.  rsync is a mirroring tool.

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?"

"Doug Schasteen" <dschast at>
Sent by: rsync-admin at
10/02/2002 09:32 AM

        To:     <rsync at>
        cc:     (bcc: Tim Conway/LMT/SC/PHILIPS)
        Subject:        Two-way Rsync problems with Deletions

I'm trying to do a two-way rsync and it works ok for creating and updating 
files but file deletions are flawed. The only way to sync the fact that a 
file was deleted is to use the ?delete option, but this poses a problem. 
If Server A has file 'foo' and Server B does not. Will rsync think that 
'foo' is new and copy it to Server B? Or will it think that 'foo' is old 
and should be deleted from Server A? In my own testing this seems to be 
pretty sporadic. Sometimes I delete a file and it just comes right back, 
other times I create a file and it gets deleted right away.
I can't help but think this problem could be fixed if I could do some kind 
"Delete files that don't exist on the sending side, as long as the file is 
older than x minutes". I could be wrong, but I think this would completely 
solve my problem. New files would be replicated, and old deleted files 
would be removed. The only downside I see is that I wouldn't be able to 
delete files that are brand new, I'd have to wait x minutes before I could 
delete a newly created file, but to me this is not nearly as big of a deal 
as the original problem.
Anyone have any experience with this?
- Doug

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