--delete bug?

Wayne Davison wayned at samba.org
Fri Aug 15 02:36:55 EST 2003

> Joost Ruijsch wrote:
> ># rsync -aRxW --delete / /mnt/backup
> >Today I got errors because the target drive was full. It appeared 
> >nothing on the targed drive ever got deleted.

Yes, it appears that it is your use of -R with a source of '/' that
combine to cause the delete failure.  This causes rsync to not send the
"." dir, so we don't treat it like a send of an entire directory, and
thus no files are deleted.

On Sun, Apr 27, 2003 at 02:16:32PM +0200, Joost Ruijsch wrote:
> I found this comment in flist.c :
> if ((l == 2) && (fname[0] == '.')) {             
>        /*  Turn ./ into just . rather than ./.  
>           This was put in to avoid a problem with
>           rsync -aR --delete from ./            
>           The send_file_name() below of ./ was  
>           mysteriously preventing deletes */    
>        fname[1] = 0;                            
> } else {                                         
>        strlcat(fname, ".", MAXPATHLEN);         
> }

If I change the code immediately above the code you cited to allow a
string of length 1 into it (i.e. a "/" all by itself), then the delete
bug goes away.  I don't know yet if that has any adverse effects,

> With some experimenting I found something that does work, using a
> double slash instead of a single:

Yeah, since that gets expanded to "//.", which sends a directory.  It
would also work to use "/." directly.  Also, you can just leave off the
-R option (since it doesn't actually do anything from a "/" path).

While testing this, I noticed that -R mode combined with an --exclude
that would exclude the "." directory can prevent the transfer of any
files from within a directory.  This is something else that should be

I'll look into this more later.


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