excluding changed or deleted files from --backup

Helmut Schweinzer hel at softpoint.de
Thu Feb 6 07:17:35 MST 2014

Hi Wayne,

thank you for your answer. I tried your proposals, but still ...

On 30.01.2014 18:23, Wayne Davison wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 6:06 AM, Helmut Schweinzer <hel at softpoint.de
> <mailto:hel at softpoint.de>> wrote:
>     Is there a way to exclude files only from the --backup option
>     (e.g. --backup-exclude or --backup-exclude-from)?
> You'd need to exclude the files from the transfer and then do a separate
> rsync run that only included those files, this time without the --backup
> option.  One possibility is to use --max-size for the backup transfer,
> and --min-size for the non-backup transfer.

This is not practical for several reasons:

The option --max-size would not help as I have other big files for which
I do want the --backup feature.

And if I use --delete-excluded in my normal rsync and then --exclude to
exclude the big files for the next rsync run (without --backup), the big
files will be deleted by the first rsync. If something happens before I
can finish the second rsync, I lost my rsynced versions of all the big

Also I would have to maintain two lists of files (one to exclude from
the first rsync and one to include in the second). I am rather sure,
that this would lead to confusions and problems in the future.

> Starting with 3.1.0 you can delete a specific file on a remote rsync
> daemon with this idiom:
> rsync --delete-missing-args non-existant-filename
> host::module/backup/path/file

This is an interesting feature.

But it seams that I have to start an rsync for every file I want to
delete as I don't know how to provide multiple destination files.

Or is it possible to use something like --include-from in combination
with the option --delete-missing-args?

But still one ore more additional rsyncs would be needed. And the file
list needed to be dynamic as the path of the backup-dir includes a

>     Perhaps triggering the post-xfer option for the rsync server might
>     be a solution. But can I inject a post-xfer script to the server?
> You have to configure it into your rsync module in the daemon's config
> file.  For safety reasons that can't be specified remotely.

My question was whether I can first rsync a script which is then used as
post-xfer script for the daemon.

But as I understand the post-xfer script runs as the daemon user without
any chroot. So rsyncing such a script into one module and then executing
it would be very dangerous, as it could access files of all modules of
the server (and more).

Perhaps I could use chroot to the modules chroot in the
post-xfer-script. But this would involve having libraries and other
binaries in the modules chroot.

So any of the afore mentioned methods has several drawbacks. Therefore I
want to express a feature request for something like --backup-exclude or


Helmut Schweinzer

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