Running 'rsync' as root misses files

Alexander R. Loker arloker at
Fri Nov 11 18:03:34 GMT 2005


Alex Loker

Senior UNIX Administrator, Enterprise Platforms

Public Broadcasting Service

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arloker at

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Slootman [mailto:paul at] 
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 12:35 PM
To: Alexander R. Loker
Cc: rsync at
Subject: Re: Running 'rsync' as root misses files

On Fri 11 Nov 2005, Alexander R. Loker wrote:

> rsync. My rsync source files are all off of nfs mounts and the
> destination directories are all nfs mounts. The owner and groups all
> up as nobody/nobody on the destination, despite being all sorts of
> owners and groups on the source. Have you seen this, or are you aware
> any issues with nfs and rsync?

If you're running as root, and the NFS filesystems aren't exported with
no_root_squash (or equivalent), then root is effectively nobody/nobody
on those filesystems. That probably also means that root can't
chown/chgrp the files to their rightful owners.

You're always better off (if possible) running rsync from the system
that hosts NFS filesystems, because NFS means network traffic will
double, while the main idea about rsync is minimizing network traffic.

Paul Slootman


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