Problem retrieving file starting with '-' character from top of repository

Tim Bruijnzeels tim at
Wed Dec 22 02:53:26 MST 2010

Hi all,

There seems to be a problem when trying to retrieve a file that starts 
with a '-' character, if it lives in the top of an rsync repository:

/Users/tim $ rsync --list-only 'rsync://xxxx/repository/-fails'
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [receiver]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at 
/SourceCache/rsync/rsync-40/rsync/io.c(452) [receiver=2.6.9]

/Users/tim $ rsync --list-only 'rsync://xxxx/repository/rsync-bug/-works'
-rw-r--r--         218 2010/12/22 10:11:12 -works

And on another occasion I got this:
rsync: on remote machine: -SndBLVaDchzm60h4WPrfNiVu5k.cer: invalid 
numeric value
rsync error: requested action not supported (code 4) at 
clientserver.c(841) [sender=3.0.7]
rsync: read error: Connection reset by peer (54)
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at 
/SourceCache/rsync/rsync-40/rsync/io.c(603) [receiver=2.6.9]

My client is version 2.6.9 on Mac OS X. My server is 3.0.7 on linux: 
Centos 5.5.

Now I admit that starting a file name with a '-' may be asking for 
trouble, but in our particular case we could not avoid this. We are able 
to work around the problem for now, but have no real way to prevent it 
from happening again. Why this is is not so relevant to this problem I 
believe.. ideally rsync should be able to just deal with this.

I am new to this list, but I could not find anything related to this 
issue in the bugtracker or archive. So as far as I can tell this is not 
a known issue.. Did anyone on this list experience the same problem?

Is this indeed a bug in rsync? And if so is it server side and canit be 
fixed? Upgrading the server is a lot easier than getting all the clients 
to upgrade.


Tim Bruijnzeels

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