The behavior of "-u/--update" option on directories

Florian-Daniel Otel otel at
Mon Jan 13 19:51:02 EST 2003

Dear all,

I have the following problem: I use the following command to "push"
files from "local" to a "remote" machine:

/usr/bin/rsync -avuz -e "ssh -1" --exclude ".Xauthority"  --delete  /user/home/directory/  user at ;

(The ssh is using RSA authentication btw. machines,  but that's beside the point).

The problem:

On both the local and remote machines there is a subdirectory
"/user/home/directory/tmp". If on the remote machine that subdirectory
has a newer time stamp  -- e.g. due to a file that was created
recently i.e. after the last time the local machine did a "pull" --  the
"--delete" option in the command above makes it such that the said
newer file is deleted on remote and the timestamp is reseted back to
the old time stamp i.e. the one for the "tmp/" subdir on the local machine.

Putting it shortly, the "--delete" option has precendence over "-u"
option w.r.t. directories. 

Is it so that "-u" works only on files and not on directories ?
IMHO the appropriate behaviour in a situation like the one described
above directories on remote that have newer time stamp  should be ignored 
and excluded from further processing (i.e. including updating and/or
deleting any files that do not exist on the local machine).

The question:

Am I right and that is the way things should behave and I am doing
smth wrong ? If not, and this is the way things are supposed to work,
can anyone suggest a work-around that would simulate the desired behavior ?

Many thanks in advance,


P.S. Please Cc: me on the replies, I'm not on the list. Thanks. 

P.P.S: If it matters: In the above setup the "local" machine is a
Linux running "rsync  version 2.5.4  protocol version 26" whereas
"remote" is a Solaris 2.8 running "rsync  version 2.5.5  protocol version 26". 

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