iconv problem with rsync

Steve Schow steve at bstage.com
Wed May 11 15:56:20 UTC 2016

I am having a problem using rsync 3.1.2 to backup a remote linux machine to local OSX machine.  It works fine, but one large directory full of files has a lot of files with foreign characters in the filenames and this blows up rsync.  

I tried to use:


But still it gets to certain files…and I can’t even see which file is causing the problem, because rsync blows up before reporting the filename…but I get the dreaded

error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(226)

does anyone have any suggestions for how I can get rsync to backup all files from remote linux to local mac….  Its possible that there is something else funky about the unknown file causing the problem…I would think utf-8 on the remote host ought to cover it…but maybe not?  I have the locale set to en_us.UTF-8 on the remote linux box.  

When I exclude the large dir full of files…  500GB or so…then everything else syncs fine…

If I don’t use —iconv, then it ends up getting stuck in a strange loop where it complains about files vanishing and keeps retrying in an endless loop.

Any suggestions for how I can fix this would be appreciated.  Here is the complete rsync command line I am using:

/usr/local/bin/rsync -av --delete --numeric-ids --relative \
    --delete-excluded --iconv=utf-8-mac,utf-8 \
    --rsync-path=/usr/bin/rsync \
    --rsh=/usr/bin/ssh -i /etc/rsnapshot/rsnapshot-key root at \

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