directories that change into symlinks

David Garamond davegaramond at
Mon Jan 6 06:35:00 EST 2003

just to correct myself: this has nothing to do with rdiff-backup (which 
uses *rdiff*, not rsync). local backups with the rdiff-backup tool are 
fine. the problem is with rsync, when we are trying to mirror the local 
backups to another machine using rsync.

David Garamond wrote:
> 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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