rsyncing a r/o-permissioned tree?

Matt McCutchen matt at
Thu May 15 19:18:07 GMT 2008

On Thu, 2008-05-15 at 09:50 -0400, Aaron Davies wrote:
> Hi, i have a question about rsyncing a tree which is largely
> permissioned for read-only access(444/555, etc.). I have a production
> environment which is mostly kept in r/o to make it harder to screw up,
> but parts of it are sometimes manually worked on (in emergencies,
> etc.). I need to maintain a remote mirror of this, and I would like to
> do it with the same permissions as production, but I've been getting
> permissions errors whenever rsync tries to delete something from the
> remote mirror that has been deleted on the master (also when it tries
> to set the group for some new files). (The rsync is running as the
> owner of the files.) Is there a way to make rsync aware that it's ok
> for it to do whatever permission raising is necessary in order to
> delete files, chgrp them, etc.?

"Permission raising" for deleting files was added in rsync 3.0.0.  If
you are using an older version, please upgrade to at least rsync 3.0.0.

I don't know why the chgrp is failing; could you post the actual error
message and "ls -l" output for the affected destination files?

> Alternatively, if I chmod -R u+w the
> remote mirror, will rsync change the permissions back to match prod
> next time i sync?

Yes, rsync will change the permissions back.  That should work around
the deletion problem.

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