Is there a parameter in rsync to clean $BACKUPDIR before writing to it (--backup-dir=$BACKUPDIR)?

Kevin Korb kmk at
Thu Feb 4 16:23:26 UTC 2016

Hash: SHA1

I don't think so but then I use --link-dest instead of --backup.

On 02/04/2016 05:11 AM, jupiter wrote:
> Hi Kevin,
> Thank you very much for the response. Actually, I don't think I
> need to clean the backup dir defined in --backup-dir=<backup dir>,
> when the contents has already been deleted in the destination (no
> exist), it will delete from the backup dir as well in next cycle,
> correct?
> Regards,
> - j
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:39 PM, Kevin Korb <kmk at 
> <mailto:kmk at>> wrote:
> Obviously you can ssh an rm -rf.  Alternatively, if you are in a 
> restricted environment where you are only allowed to use rsync you
> can rsync --delete an empty directory to it.
> On 02/03/2016 08:33 PM, jupiter wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I am runing rsync --backup --backup-dir=$BACKUPDIR where the 
>> BACKUPDIR=$(date +%d) to recycle the $BACKUPDIR in a month. But 
>> rsync does not clean the  $BACKUPDIR before writing to it in 
>> cycling.
>> I guess you have to clean it manually before the rsync can write
>> to it. As my $BACKUPDIR is in remote machine, do you have to run
>> ssh to delete it first before calling rsync in a script? Or if
>> there is better parameter in rsync to automatically delete the
>> old $BACKUPDIR, and create a new one?
>> Thank you.
>> - j
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