Mac OS X : "get_xattr_names: llistxattr("some/path/here", 1024) failed" error

Henri Shustak henri.shustak at
Wed Dec 14 15:39:49 MST 2011

> Hi,
> I'm trying to make a small script to get rid of Apple's TimeMachine. The aim is to backup the files of my company.
> I setup a MacMini with a lot of storage attached to it. The MacMini connects every once in a while to our data server (XServe) through SSH and pulls the files that need to be saved (I'm using the --link-dest option to limit the amount of files transferred, and to keep several backups).
> I've followed Mike Bombich's instructions to compile rsync 3.0.7 with patches (fileflags, crtimes, crtimes-64bit, crtimes-hfs+ and hfs_compression) on both machines. I'm running the script as root with the following options (which are supposed to do the work) :
>    -aNHAXx --fileflags --force-change --protect-decmpfs --numeric-ids
> The script works pretty fine except for one thing. When rsync builds the file list, I get hundred of errors such as :
>    rsync: get_xattr_names: llistxattr("some/path/here",1024) failed: No such file or directory (2)
> Please notice that these errors don't appear if I'm not using the --link-dest option or if the linked-dest-directory doesn't exist (first backup).
> Also, "some/path/here" does exist on both side.
> I've read some doc about this error but it doesn't seem to fit my case and I'm kinda stuck with it. It doesn't seem to be a serious issue but I'd like to be sure about it and know if there is a way to get rid of them.
> Do you guys have any clue of what's going wrong or what I may doing wrong ?

As a first step you could try removing the -A <--acls, preserve ACLs (implies --perms)> option. It could be that the source system and your system do not have the same users.

Also, based upon the error you are receiving, one other option to consider removing would be the -X <--xattrs preserve extended attributes>. 

It is possible, that something else is causing the error which you are seeing. Hopefully, at least one other person on this list will have some ideas which you may find helpful.

As a starting point try removing the arguments listed above and report back.

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