rsync doesn't exit

Ken Gillett ken at
Mon May 9 18:24:12 GMT 2005

I have a problem with using rsync between a RH Linux 9 rsync server and 
an ARM based device running what is basically debian linux. RSYNC 
versions are and 2.6.0 (or 2.5.5, makes no difference) 
respectively and I have been testing with a set of about 50 files.

The ARM machine has no display, but when logged in via telnet I can run 
a shell script that performs the synchronization and reports the result 
exactly as it should. This works perfectly whether any files actually 
need copying or not.

However, if instead I log in via ftp and use the 'site exec' command to 
run the script, OR if I use the ARM device's built-in menu system to 
start the script (IOW, no actual display output available for the 
script) rsync does what it is supposed to, but never exits so the 
script is effectively hung. It will remain like this indefinitely until 
I 'kill' the 2 rsync processes, when rsync returns an error of 137.

By default my script captures the rsync output (to a variable) to be 
able to report back to the originator and the script also echoes 
information to provide feedback if it is run from a telnet session. 
But, I have tested without either of these, IOW, nothing echoed and 
leaving rsync to run with no attempt to capture the output and it makes 
no difference so neither is the cause. However, the problem would 
appear to be caused by the lack of a display device that is upsetting 
rsync (the script runs perfectly if the rsync command is disabled - but 
doesn't do what is required of course).

Does this make any sense to anyone and is there any solution that will 
allow rsync to complete and exit normally? Right now I'm completely 
stuck on this with no idea how to get around this issue.


Ken  G i l l e t t


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