directories that change into symlinks

David Garamond davegaramond at
Sat Jan 4 07:35:01 EST 2003

our daily backup is done using the rdiff-backup tool, which in turn 
utilizes rsync/librsync to do the actual mirroring work.

a few days ago we did a refactoring and renamed a bunch of directories. 
for backward compatibility we maintain the old names by symlinking it to 
the new names. so, for example, oldname1/ now becomes newname1/, and 
oldname1 is now a symlink to newname1/.

we found that now the mirroring cannot complete. rsync doesn't seem to 
be able to handle this. it tries to do an rmdir(oldname1) followed by 
symlink(newname1,oldname1). however, since the directory oldname1/ in 
the old mirror is not empty, rmdir fails with "Directory not empty" and 
thus symlink fails too with "File exists" (since oldname1 has not been 
deleted yet).

any pointers? we looked at the available rsync options but have found no 
clue yet.


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