Can I get rsync to delete missing files first?

Matt McCutchen matt at
Wed Sep 16 20:44:43 MDT 2009

On Thu, 2009-09-17 at 14:41 +1200, Allistar wrote:
> I am backing up a remove partition which is 38Gb onto a local partition
> which is 40Gb. Rsync is complaining that I have run out of disk space on
> the local partition, and I can tell that this would not happen if local
> files that are missing in the remote system were deleted BEFORE copying
> down new files.
> I note there is a --delete-after option, but is there a --delete-before
> option? If not, can I simulate this somehow?
> This is rsync version 2.6.2 protocol version 28

Oops, I didn't notice the really old rsync version.  In rsync 2.6.2,
just use --delete to "delete before".  If you are doing that and are
still running out of disk space, something else may be wrong.


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