rsync is not copying upper case files

jw schultz jw at
Thu Feb 5 22:14:56 GMT 2004

On Thu, Feb 05, 2004 at 02:10:39PM +0100, cm at wrote:
> >> I am running rsync on MacOS 10.3 and I want to transfer files to a
> >>  linux
> >> machine, which has  linux partitions and fat32 partitions.
> >> 
> >> Transfering the files to the linux partition works without problems,
> >> but if I transfer them to the fat32 partition, files are ignored if all
> >> characters in the file name are UPPER CASE.
> >> - The files which rsync should transfer do not exist in the target
> >> directory. Thus its not a problem with the time resolution of the fat32
> >> system.
> >> - The files do not appear as lower case, they are simply not there at
> >> all.
> >> - If a file name contains one lower case character or special
> >> character, 
> >> then it is copied without problems.
> >
> > Rsync treats filenames as null terminated, / delemited,
> > blobs.  It is up to the OS to handle any case or illegal
> > characters.
> >
> > This sounds like a FAT32 bug but there may be a mount option
> > involved.  Eliminate OSX from the problem space and contact
> > the Linux FAT32 maintainers.
> Hi, I have eliminated OSX from the problem space since the same error
> occures from linux to linux. The only difference is that the linux rsync
> gives me the (probably unrelated) error message:
> failed to set permissions on test-sync : Operation not permitted
> failed to set permissions on test-sync : Operation not permitted
> rsync error: partial transfer (code 23) at main.c(578)
> This error message does not occur when transfering to a linux partition,
> but only when transfering to a fat32 partition.
> But I could encircle the problem from another side:
> The problem only occures if I use the --delete-after option in the
> following command:
>  rsync -aL --delete --delete-after -e ssh test-sync  user at machine:/mnt/hda8/backup
> If I don't use the --delete-after option, then the files are copied
> properly from linux to linux partition and to the fat32 partition.
> If I use the --delete-after, then "UPPER CASE file", when transfered
> to the fat32 partition are not copied and even deleted, if they already
> exist.
> So, I think it is due to the fact that an all UPPER CASE file name is
> converted to an all lower case file name on the fat32 partition,
> which then, since the original file name was different, is instantly
> deleted when  --delete-after was chosen.
> So my guess is that this could cause the problem.

Good guess.  Rsync requires a filesystem to not modify file
names.  I can understand the intention in translating
allcaps filenames to lower case while preserving mixed case
filenames but there should be a mount option to turn that

The second part of my advice still applies: "contact
the Linux FAT32 maintainers."

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

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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