rsync 2.5.7 link-dest seems broken

Wayne Davison wayned at
Wed Dec 31 09:02:16 EST 2003

On Tue, Dec 30, 2003 at 07:34:48PM +0000, gname at wrote:
> I assumed numeric id's are not used unless explictly asked for.

As I expected, the code is not dealing with the IDs properly when
running as a non-root user.  It leaves the UIDs untranslated in the
internal data structures when non-root, even if a translation is
available (since it doesn't ever try to change the ownership of the
files).  It also handles group IDs in such a way that if the GID of
the source source file is either not available on the destination
machine or the user doesn't have permissions to use it, then the GID
in the data structure will also fail to match any destination GID.
Both of these problems will cause link-dest's check for identical-
ness to fail.

I have a fix that I can commit after 2.6.0 gets released, but I have a
question about group-setting that goes beyond the --link-dest option:

What should we do if we're updating an existing file with a group that
doesn't match, but the group on the source file is not one that the
current user has permissions to use (or it doesn't exist on the system)?
One solution would be to leave the group unchanged.  Another solution
would be to change the group to the user's default group (i.e. use the
group the file would get if it were being created by the transfer).

Opinions?  I know which one I prefer, but I'm interested in what others


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