failed: File name too long

Paul Slootman paul+rsync at
Fri Mar 30 04:49:39 MDT 2012

On Thu 29 Mar 2012, Kip Warner wrote:
> Some file names are very long and rsync unfortunately cannot transfer
> them, issuing the following error message:
> failed: File name too long (78)
> I'm assuming the 78 is drawn from a system header that it was compiled
> against and probably not universal to the error on all platforms, so the
> message before it is probably all I need to be concerned with.
> I've taken a look through the documentation and the mailing list
> archives, and I can't find anyone that's found a resolution.

The problem is that your OS doesn't accept the long filenames;
there's nothing that rsync can do to fix your OS.

> Is there a switch or some means of getting rsync to use a dynamically
> sized file name buffer, or perhaps some other method for situations like
> this? Or is this a no go and a problem that is a current design problem
> without a solution to?

It's not a problem within rsync itself.

It might be that the temporary file that rsync creates has a name that's
too long for your system; in that case, contemplate using --inplace or


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