lsetxattr() failed: Operation not permitted on symlinked locked directory

Nicola Vitacolonna nvitacolonna at
Thu Nov 11 15:12:03 MST 2010

I am using rsync 3.0.7 from MacPorts under Mac OS X 10.6.4. I am getting the error in the subject in the presence of a symlinked and locked directory with an extended attribute. To reproduce:

mkdir src
mkdir dst
mkdir src/dir-with-ea-and-uchg
./xattr-util --set mamma.mia "How about a nice pizza?" src/dir-with-ea-and-uchg
cd src
ln -s dir-with-ea-and-uchg/ symlink-to-dir
chflags uchg dir-with-ea-and-uchg/
cd ..
rsync -avNHAX --fileflags --force-change src/ dst

xattr-util is a utility that I have found at, but any method to add an extended attribute will do. This is the output:

sending incremental file list
symlink-to-dir -> src/dir-with-ea-and-uchg/
rsync: rsync_xal_set: lsetxattr("dir-with-ea-and-uchg","mamma.mia") failed: Operation not permitted (1)
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