--files-from and --delete mutually exclusive?

Wayne Davison wayned at samba.org
Mon Jan 30 19:33:57 GMT 2006

On Mon, Jan 30, 2006 at 07:42:20PM +0100, Kilian Krause wrote:
> To be more clearly, I want the rsync --files-from option to behave like
> "take these files out of $TARGET and *ONLY* these files", i.e. deleting
> *EVERYTHING* there is except the files given in the index file added to
> --files-from.

That's not how deletions or --files-from works.  The --delete option
only affects dirs that it has sent by rsync in whole.  The --files-from
option allows for the copying of scattered files without affecting the
destination files outside of those listed.

What you want to do instead is to use an include/exclude file so that
rsync can send an entire hierarchy of directories, not individual files.
For instance, instead of this files-from file:


You could write something like this:

+ /foo/
+ /foo/bar/
+ /foo/bar/baz
+ /foo/extra
+ /bar/
+ /bar/another
- /foo/*
- /foo/bar/*
- /bar/*
- /*

And use that as an --exclude-from file while copying a single starting
dir.  It's a more involved syntax, but it wouldn't be hard to write a
perl script that could take a list of files and turn it into a set of
include/exclude directives.  In fact, I've attached one to this email.

-------------- next part --------------
use strict;

my %hash;

while (<>) {
    my $path = '/';
    while (m#([^/]+/)/*#g) {
	$path .= $1;
	print "+ $path\n" unless $hash{$path}++;
    if (m#([^/]+)$#) {
	print "+ $path$1\n";
    } else {
	delete $hash{$path};

foreach (sort keys %hash) {
    print "- $_*\n";
print "- /*\n";

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