Differing behaviour on consecutive runs

Paul Slootman paul+rsync at wurtel.net
Wed Dec 17 09:02:20 MST 2014

On Wed 17 Dec 2014, David Jennings wrote:

> Hi all. I have a strange issue with sync'ing from a USB-attached ext4 file
> system on one machine, to a USB-attached ext3 file system on another.

> The sync works fine (a few thousand files). If I run it again straight away,
> or a few minutes later, rsync reports no action required.
> But if I wait for a few hours and run it again it copies all the files
> again.
> I'm trying to determine what's making it think the files are not up-to-date.
> I have all the debug flags turned on. Am I missing something that will let
> me know what rsync is thinking?

Use -i (or --itemize-changes), that's more helpful in determining _why_
a file is being updated.

> I've just noticed that "set modtime" differs between the two runs. If I do
> an ls now on that directory I get:

The times of a directory are hardly useful, writing a file or renaming a
file in that directory will update the modification time of the
directory. Check file timestamps if you're trying to track something
down, but first try it with -i (and leave out all the debugging, that
might just obscure the -i output).


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