patch against manpage

Paul Slootman paul at
Thu Mar 13 00:55:55 EST 2003

On Wed 12 Mar 2003, jw schultz wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 01:27:32PM +0100, Paul Slootman wrote:
> > This is a patch against the manpage to clarify what the --perm option
> > does and does not do.
> If we are going to embellish this description it would be
> good to make it clear that the behavior of rsync in this
> regard is the same as that of cp.
> Most of those complaining about this behavior fail to
> understand it is consistent with cp, scp, rcp et al.

Not quite true, I'm afraid...

$ ls -l /tmp/ps*
-rw-rw-r--    1 paul     paul         1266 Mar 12 14:49 /tmp/ps1
$ cp /tmp/ps1 /tmp/ps2
$ ls -l /tmp/ps*
-rw-rw-r--    1 paul     paul         1266 Mar 12 14:49 /tmp/ps1
-rw-r--r--    1 paul     paul         1266 Mar 12 14:51 /tmp/ps2

Note how the permissions are different! That's because cp pays attention
to the umask. Only with the -p option does cp preserve the permissions,
even if the destination doesn't exist.

$ cp --version
cp (coreutils) 4.5.2
Written by Torbjorn Granlund, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.

Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

> If i may suggest...
> 	This option causes rsync to update the permissions
> 	of existing destination files to be the same as the
> 	source files.  Like other file copy utilities new
> 	destination files will receive the same permissions
> 	as their source files.

Here it's still not clear that the behaviour with new files is the same
whether or not the option is specified; that was the original problem.

I still think the wording I first used is clearer; if necessary a
sentence could be added that the behaviour is the same as other file
copy utilities, but I'd be careful about that as I have demonstrated
it's not always true, and we also have no idea what file copy utilities
the users are accustomed to...

Paul Slootman

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