Handling spaces in filenames

Tony Abernethy tony at servacorp.com
Tue Aug 11 23:01:28 MDT 2009

FILE NAME WITH SPACES -- this is 4 different space-separated parameters fed
from the shell to the program
"FILE NAME WITH SPACES" -- this is one parameter fed from the shell to the
FOLDER-NAME/ -- this is one parameter and means all the files in the
directory FOLDER-NAME/
FOLDER-NAME  -- this is one parameter and means the directory FOLDER-NAME/
(and presumably taking all the contents with the directory)

Unless the program does something special to parse out the spaces in the
parameters, what you are seeing is normal behavior.
I assume that the directory names with spaces are actually subdirectories of
whatever you are backing up, ie those name you specify on the command line.
You can also use wild-cards in addition to the names with spaces to give the
illusion that it understands.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rsync-bounces at lists.samba.org 
> [mailto:rsync-bounces at lists.samba.org] On Behalf Of Larry Alkoff
> Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:04 PM
> To: Rsync
> Subject: Handling spaces in filenames
> Man rsync says that
> "If  you  need  to  transfer  a  filename that contains whitespace, 
> you'll need to either escape the whitespace in a way that the remote 
> shell will understand, or  use  wildcards in place of the spaces.".
> I am regularly doing backups with rsync and notice that files 
> names with 
> a space in them copy properly, without any special escape or other 
> characters.
> Is this a change in rsync?
> Is the warning in the man page no longer needed?
> I will say that my 'filenames' with spaces are mostly (if not all) 
> directory names so perhaps rsync knows to handle directory 
> names better
> than file names.
> Can anyone enlighten me?
> Larry
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