Problems with rsync with dirctories with spaces in the name

jw schultz jw at
Fri Jan 9 15:32:15 GMT 2004

On Fri, Jan 09, 2004 at 10:55:38PM +0800, Nunuz Yourbiz wrote:
> Hi guys
> I have read read the why's and whyfores and howto's and whento's about 
> posting for help, but I'm not sure whether this has already been addressed 
> - plenty other Win/spaces-in-dir-names issues have been.
> I was running rsync to copy stuff off of a Windows disk onto a Windows disk 
> on another machine via Linux - Mdk 9.1 rsync - (rsync-2.5.7-0.1.92mdk) , 
> when I first noticed the problem.
> I have reproduced it below.
> The command I used was
> rsync -avz -e ssh /mnt/D/Program\ Files/Activision/WizardsWarriors/* 
> richard1 at perthmdk:/mnt/downloads/Program\ Files/Activision
> This command gave me the following in the /mnt/downloads directory
> [richard1 at PerthMdk richard1]$ ll /mnt/downloads/
> total 5344753
> drwxrwxr-x   29 richard1 richard1     4184 Jan  9 21:54 Program/
> It seems that the rsync (or the shell or whatever) loses everything after 
> the whitespace (even though it has a \)
> Is this a documented bug? If so is it a problem with rsync or the shell? I 
> did try with scp and got the following
> [richard1 at SelousMdk richard1]$ scp -r /mnt/D/Program\ 
> Files/Activision/WizardsWarriors/* 
> richard1 at perthmdk:/mnt/downloads/Program\ Files/Activision
> scp: ambiguous target
> So I suppose it might be a shell problem

It is a shell problem of sorts.  Your source path should be
OK but you  would be better off leaving off the trailing *
so the shell won't glob.

The real problem is the destination path.
The destination path has a space in it but you only escaped
it once.  That protects it from the local shell but not the
remote shell.  Rsync is going to invoke ssh with the
destination path on the command-line which will cause ssh to
invoke your login shell on the remote end with that
command-line as arguments.  The space needs to be escaped or
quoted in a way that will get to the remote end.  That
either means nested quotes or stacked backslashes.

Hmm, just a thought here for the other developers: Perhaps
rsync should check the source/dest portions of remote
argument list for whitespace and if there but no quotes or
backslashes insert backslashes or surrounding quotes.
That way a path could be specified for local or remote in
the same way even if it has spaces in it.  Having a test for
quotes or backslashes would provide backwards compatability.

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

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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