[Bug 10951] New: Emtpy parameter triggers unwanted behavior, but no error message

Joe josephj at main.nc.us
Fri Nov 21 01:44:18 MST 2014

I didn't want to put this in Bugzilla. Hopefully the OP will see it on
this list.

I'm not sure if you have the same problem I had, but it sure looks like it:

I ran into something very similar to this around a year ago. My script
was building the rsync command and when I didn't want a dry run, the
first parameter became "". That ended up (erroneously) adding the
current directory to my sources to back up.

I posted on this list and was told essentially (much more politely) -
"It's not  a bug, it's a feature."

But, a very kind and very knowledgeable soul (01/24/2013 05:58 PM,
Volker Kuhlmann) showed me how to avoid it - and make my bash code a lot
better at the same time!

Here are the essential snips of how to avoid problems like this:

eval rsync "${RSYNC_OPTIONS[@]}"  ...

When you do it like this - using a bash array with eval - (changing all
the values to match your requirements), all the null strings just go away!

It makes it easy to cleanly and clearly build a complex argument list
piece by piece in your script with as much logic as needed to make sure
that things are built correctly.

The final command is built in only one place, so any changes to
parameters which are relatively constant only have to be done in that
one place, not in many similar command invocations where a common change
might be missed in one or more instances.

It also makes the code way easier to read and maintain. I am using this
technique in other applications as well.


On 11/21/2014 02:46 AM, samba-bugs at samba.org wrote:
> https://bugzilla.samba.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10951
>             Bug ID: 10951
>            Summary: Emtpy parameter triggers unwanted behavior, but no
>                     error message
>            Product: rsync
>            Version: 3.1.0
>           Hardware: x64
>                 OS: Linux
>             Status: NEW
>           Severity: major
>           Priority: P5
>          Component: core
>           Assignee: wayned at samba.org
>           Reporter: stian at wis.no
>         QA Contact: rsync-qa at samba.org
> If you add a parameter (ex. --exclude <path>) to the rsync command without a
> value, you get some unwanted behavior running the command. No error message
> will be triggered, and no output will be shown (especially if running the
> command from remote server through a SSH session).
> We were running the following command for backup of a remote server:
> "/usr/bin/ssh -x -l backuppc <servername>.<domain>.lan sudo /usr/bin/rsync
> --numeric-ids --perms --owner --group -D --links --hard-links --times
> --block-size=2048 --recursive / --exclude --exclude /mnt --exclude
> /var/log/tomcat6"
> If you check after the "--recursive /" there is two "--exclude" and the first
> one without a value. If we run this command there is no output from rsync
> before the ssh session outputs a "pipe is broken" message. The rsync continues
> to run on the ssh session. There is no output running the command locally
> either. 
> With the emtpy "--exclude", and a new "--exclude" after the empty one, it seems
> like rsync interpits the two exclude folders as destination for syncronization.
> We also seem to get at loop when syncing the /mnt folder aswell, due to
> syncronization of itself into itself (this is not testet since this happend on
> a production server).
> When we ran the command written futher up in this text, we got a copy of /
> (root) in both "/mnt" and "/var/log/tomcat6". In "/mnt" we also got many
> subfolders with their own copies of the root, all folder in root down to the
> "/mnt" folder. Seems to be looping.

More information about the rsync mailing list