Delay for --remove-source-files

Matt McCutchen matt at
Thu Oct 15 07:30:08 MDT 2009

On Tue, 2009-10-13 at 03:51 -0700, Martin Scharrer wrote:
> I'm using rsync with -aP --remove-source-files to move files from one
> machine to another while watching the progress. I'm under the impression
> that rsync is deleting the transmitted source files on-the-fly, not at the
> very end, but with a delay of 2-3 files, i.e. if 10 files are moved the
> first source file is deleted after the third of fourth file got transmitted.
> However, if rsync is aborted (CTRL+C) all fully source transmitted files are
> deleted.
> Can anyone tell me if this delay is intended behavior and if it can be
> manipulated/configured differently?
> My source machine has only limited space (10GB), my files are rather big (.4
> - 1.2GB each) and my bandwidth around 300-500KB, so sometimes I want to get
> rid of the sent files as fast as possible without waiting for the next files
> being transmitted.

IIUC, the delay occurs due to the pipelining in rsync; since it is not a
problem for most users, no special effort was made to avoid it.  If it
is a problem for you, you might consider running rsync once per file.
It sounds like the files are big enough that doing so wouldn't be
unreasonably wasteful.


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