Rsync via ssh hangs on same file repeatedly

Gawain rsync at
Wed May 10 01:52:57 GMT 2006

Hi all,

I'm having problems with an rsync via ssh process hanging during transfer.

The basic problem, (gory details to follow):

  I've set up a machine on my LAN to act as the receiver and have two 
(soon to be more) remote servers transferring files via a script.

It seems as if certain files are causing the transfer to hang. These 
are different files on each of the sending machines, and there 
doesn't seem to be any correlation between them. The plan is to back 
up several directories (/usr /var /home /etc) so I thought at first 
there could be some sort of memory issue as the transfers stalled 
partway through. Then I realized that even if I only transferred one 
directory the process would still hang on this particular file. In 
one case, the file was a 57kb executable and in another it was a 
238kb JPEG. Everything works fine up to that point and then bam! It 
just sits there on that file and never finishes. I've turned on some 
of the extended reporting options, and here's some output from one of 
the transfers from a /usr/bin directory:


1205 files to consider
         4867 100%    0.00kB/s    0:00:00 (xfer#1, to-check=1185/1205)
         2378 100%    2.27MB/s    0:00:00 (xfer#2, to-check=1184/1205)
        35480 100%    2.82MB/s    0:00:00 (xfer#3, to-check=1183/1205)
         4831 100%  314.52kB/s    0:00:00 (xfer#4, to-check=1182/1205)
       344201 100%  517.13kB/s    0:00:00 (xfer#5, to-check=1181/1205)
Killed by signal 2. 48.71kB/s    0:00:00


In the case above the 'artscat' file hangs at precisely 55% each 
time, at exactly 32768 bytes. Hmmmm..... A clue, perhaps?

One of the sending systems is a RedHat box, the other is FC2. The 
Fedora system is running rsync 2.6.2, the RH box is now running 2.6.8 
after hoping that an upgrade from 2.5.5 would cure the problem. No 

That leaves the receiving system as the common link, so I suspect the 
problem may lie there or with the HD. It's a G4 Mac running OS X 
10.4.6 with the standard install of rsync 2.6.3. It's a fresh install 
of the OS and the machine will be used solely as a backup server. I'm 
backing up to a LaCie 250GB Ethernet disk, formatted with the Ext3 
filesystem. I don't have enough free space on the receiver's internal 
HD to test the entire backup, but the backup of just the /usr/bin 
directory completes successfully if I back up to the internal HD 
instead of the Ethernet disk. As you can see above, the transfer 
hangs only six files into a 1205 file run when backing up to the 
LaCie. However it works fine on other large directories.

I'm out of ideas on this one, except for possibly installing a larger 
internal HD and temporarily forgetting about the LaCie.

Any ideas? I'd be grateful for any insights you can provide.


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