Question on a long filename

Allen, John L. ALLENJO5 at
Sat Oct 19 15:29:00 EST 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: jw schultz [mailto:jw at]
> Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 6:35 PM
> To: rsync at
> Subject: Re: Question on a long filename
> On Fri, Oct 18, 2002 at 08:58:29AM -0700, Jennifer Lu wrote:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > How many characters of the file name can be transferred thru rsync?
> > 255? I am running rsync on solaris 5.8 machine, I got the following
> > error messages:
> > 
> > ERROR: dsync: dsync1:/import/data/ to dsync2:/import/data2/
> > mkstemp  failed: File name too long
> > rsync error: partial transfer (code 23) at main.c(578)
> > 
> > The filename in that directory is over 220 characters, is there 
> > a problem on a long filename?
> Clearly there is.  The limit isn't rsync but the OS and
> filesystem.
> For each file updated rsync uses mkstemp (from the system
> libs) to create a temp file using a template of ".%s.XXXXXX"
> which should mean that the temp file name will be 8
> characters longer than the primary file.
> It's been awhile but my reccolection is that the maximum
> length of a filename on UFS is 254 characters.  Solaris may
> trim that a bit to 252 or less.
> The upshot is that the maximum filename length that may be
> syncronized is 8 less than the length supported by the
> destination filesystem.

It seems to me that this limit could be overcome if rsync
used a different temp file name.  One obvious choice would
be to simply use a short temp name that is little more than a
sequence number, with a template of, say, ".rsync.%d.XXXXXX".
If it is desired to have the name of the original file in the
temp file name for error recovery purposes, you could use
the original template of ".%s.XXXXXX", but only include the
first OSMAX - 8 chars of the original file name, where OSMAX
is the maximum file name length for the OS.

Why impose this limit on file name length if you don't have to?


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