Archive of "bad" things during rsync?

Matt McCutchen matt at
Fri May 30 17:39:09 GMT 2008

On Fri, 2008-05-30 at 12:16 -0400, Tuc at T-B-O-H.NET wrote:
> 	Wouldn't you know, I can't get rsync to throw an error during
> a copy. :) I need to put together some instructions for a guy that runs
> a WISP for him to look over before weekly backups are made (I'll be
> copying the files to /dev/null so any read errors can be caught).

> 	[...] does anyone have an archive of whats possible? Or even better a 
> regexp set of rules for scanning the output? Or do I just troll google and 
> the archives for "rsync error:"?

Rsync has both individual error messages and exit codes, which
correspond to generic error messages.  You can find the list of exit
codes and corresponding messages in the source:;a=blob;f=errcode.h;a=blob;f=log.c#l67

(There's a list in the man page but it's out of date.)

To find the individual error messages, search the source for FERROR:

There's a ton of these, but they fall into a few categories.  Fatal
errors (e.g., disruptions in the protocol) are followed by a call to
exit_cleanup with the appropriate exit code.  Nonfatal errors that may
affect the correctness of the transfer use FERROR_XFER, which makes
rsync exit with code 23 when it finishes the run; severe nonfatal errors
may set IOERR_GENERAL, which additionally inhibits deletion unless
--ignore-errors is on.

Two common causes of code 23 errors come to mind: nonexistence of the
source or destination and lack of permission either to read the source
files or to set the desired attributes on the destination files.  These
generally show up as "[system call name (filename)] failed: No such file
or directory" or "Permission denied" or "Operation not permitted".

I don't know what to say to the WISP admin beyond this.  There's no
substitite for some unixy common sense.  If the admin gets an error
message that he can't figure out, he can always ask on the list.

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