rsync operation times out on excluded directory

Rob klein Gunnewiek r.kleingunnewiek at
Thu Aug 7 08:53:34 GMT 2008

Hello list,

I have the following problem for awhile now. A backup script is running on
server Backup. Every night a complete backup of /home is made of server Server,
using rsync over SSH. (rsync version 3.0.2 on Debian/Linux)

Now. There is one user, that has a NFS mount in his homedirectory on Server
"/home/username/mnt". This user uses NFS to access his laptop's filesystem. At
night the laptop is not connected, so the mountpoint is not accessible:

    root at server:~# mount on /home/username/mnt/dev (nfs)

To prevent errors with rsync, I exclude the directory, using this option:

However, even though I exclude this directory, rsync still attempts to access it:

2008/08/06 01:05:41 [23001] receiving file list
2008/08/06 01:27:44 [23001] rsync: readlink "/home/username/mnt/dev" failed:
Operation timed out (60)
2008/08/06 01:34:57 [23001] IO error encountered -- skipping file deletion

The manpage says that using the exclude option, will prevent it from traversing
beneith an exclude-path.

Since I exclude /home/username/mnt, howcome it times out on /home/username/mnt/dev?

Is there a solution? Other than lazy-unmounting the NFS filesystem?

Rob klein Gunnewiek
BWSS B.V. Deventer (
Tel +(31) 0570-665140
Fax +(31) 0570-665141

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