Assistance With "Symlink Has No Referent" Message

Carlos Carvalho carlos at
Tue Jul 14 16:31:04 MDT 2009

Jon Watson (jwatson at wrote on 14 July 2009 19:15:
 >Carlos Carvalho wrote:
 >> Jon Watson (jwatson at wrote on 14 July 2009 17:17:
 >>  >I am using rsync to backup one server to another. I am connecting to the 
 >>  >rsync daemon on the remote server and pulling to the backup server. When 
 >>  >using SSH this error does not occur, but there are reasons why I have to 
 >>  >use rsync directly.
 >>  >The problem I am having is that some of the symlinks on the remote 
 >>  >machine will not copy. I am attempting to copy their referent by using 
 >>  >the -L option, but I always receive the subject error despite the fact 
 >>  >that the referent does actually exist.
 >>  >My rsyncd.conf file has uid = root and gid = nobody for this path.
 >> Even though the daemon runs as root, there may have been a chroot
 >> before. In other words, the process that is launched by ssh may not
 >> have the same view of the filesystem that the one coming from the
 >> rsync daemon.
 >The /etc/xinetd.d/conf file is the file that determines what user the 
 >daemon runs under (on my system, anyhow). It specifies that the daemon 
 >should run as root.
 >However, just because the daemon is running as root doesn't mean the 
 >individual copy commands are run as root. It is the uid=root in the 
 >module configuration in the /etc/rsyncd.conf file that specifies what 
 >user the individual copies should be performed as. Thus, my copies are 
 >being performed as root.

As I said, it doesn't seem to be a question of uid, it's a filesystem
view. A chroot affects root as well.

 >> You might be able to do an experiment launching a daemon directly from
 >> the command line as root listening in another port and see if this
 >> instance finds the referent.
 >I've done this test during my mucking around, but didn't mention it. If 
 >I start rsync as root with the --daemon option on the remote server, I 
 >get the same error messages.

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