Unintuitive backwards-incompatible behaviour with rsync -a --link-dest --size-only

Bryan Hoyt | Brush Technology bryan at brush.co.nz
Sun Mar 20 12:31:07 MDT 2011

Thanks, Wayne, very helpful, and good to know officially that it has changed
from earlier versions.

 - Bryan

On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:05, Wayne Davison <wayned at samba.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 11:30, Bryan Hoyt | Brush Technology <
> bryan at brush.co.nz> wrote:
>> Is this because --size-only doesn't affect the behaviour of --link-dest,
>> but only the transfer comparison?
> Exactly.  It is just telling rsync to tweak its "quick check" algorithm for
> files that don't need to be transfered.  It doesn't specify that you don't
> want to preserve the modify time of any file that gets copied.
> I've worked around this issue by specifying "--no-times" on the rsync
>> command line.
> Which is the correct solution.  Without disabling time preservation, rsync
> will not hard-link an incoming file with one that doesn't have the same
> modify time because it could not change (preserve) the modify time on the
> resulting file without affecting the file in the link-dest hierarchy.  This
> same rule applies for all preserved attributes (groups, ownership,
> permissions, etc.).  This is a bug-fix from earlier rsync versions that got
> this wrong.
> ..wayne..

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