Being VERY careful while using the --delete option

Henri Shustak henri.shustak at
Thu May 12 15:33:00 MDT 2011

> On UNIX, I am  executing an rsync command, from within a script. The command goes something like this:
> /usr/bin/rsync --verbose  --progress --stats --compress --recursive --times --perms --links  --safe-links source_dir/ user at target_machine:/parent_path/source_dir  
> In other words, I am replicating source_dir on a remote machine. It ends up next to a lot of sibling, directories, like this:
> On target_machine
> /parent_path/source_dir
> /parent_path/source_dir2
> ....
> /parrent_path/source_dirn
> Here's my issue. I'd like to use the --delete option in the command above. However, I wake up in a cold sweat worrying about supplying the empty 
> string for source_dir, and thus removing souce_dir, and all it's siblings on target_machine.
> Now I realize, I can just be extra careful that the variable pointing to source_string is never empty, but I would like to have other fail safe mechanisms in place.
> I hope I have been sufficiently specific to elicit some suggestions. I guess I am looking for the software equivalent of lots of padlocks on the apartment door.

You may wish to consider the use of the -n option. The --dry-run option performs a trial run with no changes made. Using this option will allow you to check what will happen prior to actually moving ahead.

Just a possibility?

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