Rsyncd and Environmental Paths

Matt McCutchen matt at
Mon Mar 16 22:15:39 GMT 2009

On Mon, 2009-03-16 at 16:43 -0400, Jerome Hollon wrote:
> I have this in my rsync.conf
> [backup]
>     path = /home/$USER/backup
>     use chroot = no
>     monge symlinks = no
>     uid = wendell
>     gid = wendell
>     read only = no
>     list = yes
>     auth users = wendell
>     secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets
> But rsync doesn't seem to interpret the $USER. I've also tried this
> with $HOME and '~' with no luck. I want to be able to back up to the
> folder 'backup' that will be in the users homefolder when a user is
> backing up remotely to the rsync daemon.
> How can I do this?

Rsync does not perform any kind of expansion on module paths.  The $USER
environment variable would not be useful anyway (at least for a
listening daemon) because it refers to the user running the daemon, not
the client.

IMO, having a module do completely different things depending on who
accesses it is dodgy.  I recommend using a separate module for each
user.  You can generate the configuration automatically with m4:

        define(`module', `
            path = /home/$USER/backup
            use chroot = no
            monge symlinks = no
            uid = $1
            gid = $1
            read only = no
            list = yes
            auth users = $1
            secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets

(See also .)

If your users have unrestricted shell accounts on the backup server, it
may be appropriate to use plain rsync over ssh rather than a daemon.


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