Rsync Permission Issues

Chris Nighswonger cnighswonger at
Fri Feb 16 22:10:42 GMT 2007

On 2/16/07, Chris Nighswonger <cnighswonger at> wrote:
> On 2/16/07, Mark Schoonover <schoon at> wrote:
> > Chris Nighswonger wrote:
> > >> What's the ls -la output on the directory where rsync quits??
> > >
> > > # ls -la /mnt/Masada1/dansguardian/lists/blacklists
> > > total 6
> > > drw-r--r--  2 masada  bkupagent   512 Nov 28 22:25 .
> > > drwxr-xr-x  9 masada  bkupagent  2560 Feb 16 10:00 ..
> >
> > Try setting other rwx and see what happens.
> I set the others for rwx and rsync went one more level deep before
> quitting. So I then set the same permissions on the new level of
> directories created and re-ran rsync. All directories were
> successfully sync'd as this was the last level.
> Looking around, I found another 4th level directory which had sync'd
> ok. Checking the permissions on it I found drwxr-xr-x. This led me to
> check the permissions on the original directory on the client. I found
> that the 4th level directory which had sync'd ok had drwxr-xr-x while
> the 4th level which was not sync'ing had drw-r--r--. So I chmod'd the
> permissions on the client directory structure to drwxr-xr-x and
> deleted the copy on the rsync server. Running rsync again resulted in
> a clean run with no errors.
> I still do not understand why this caused an issue for rsync. But
> again, I am new to it.

I apologize for replying to my own post, but another response to my
question enabled me to understand why this was an issue for rsync. I
thought it may be beneficial for someone else to post the

I always understood the "x" permission as "execute." However, upon
consulting the man page for chmod, I discovered that when applied to
directories it controls access. (Quote from man page: "execute (or
access for directories) (x)") Which explains why the rsync process
errored out when doing a'mkdir' in the directories it had just
created. I had rsync set to keep the original file and directory
permissions. So once it created that set of directories with their
permissions set at drw-r--r-- it was unable to access those
directories in order to continue the sync. Setting the original
directory permissions to include drwxr-xr-x enable the rsync process
to continue to create subdirectories and write files in the deeper

Hope this helps someone in the future.

Thanks for a very helpful list folks!


Chris Nighswonger
Network & Systems Director
Foundations Bible College & Seminary

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