directories that change into symlinks

jw schultz jw at
Mon Jan 6 09:16:00 EST 2003

On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 02:05:47AM -0600, John Van Essen wrote:
> Dave,
> What you need is the --force option.  It's not obvious from the
> all-too-generic name, but that will do the trick.
> To the rsync maintainers - this is somewhat of an FAQ.  Perhaps
> the error message could also say '(see the --force option)' to
> help users discover the solution more easily.

The manpage in CVS has been updated to have a somewhat better
description of the --force option but it won't leap out at
you if you are looking regarding the symlink problem.

Overall the --delete, --delete-after and --force options
are a bit confusing.

> On Sun, 05 Jan 2003, David Garamond <davegaramond at> wrote:
> >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.

	J.W. Schultz            Pegasystems Technologies
	email address:		jw at

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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