Use of multiple --link-dest options

John Lane rsync at
Fri Nov 11 16:55:15 UTC 2016

On 20/09/16 12:21, John Lane wrote:
> I can use --link-dest multiple times for backups so that files affected
> by a backup-delete-backup-replace-backup scenario get linked. It works well.
> However, consider this scenario: backup-modify-backup-undo-backup. We have
> * backup 1 contains file 'a'
> * backup 2 contains file 'a' ( with modified content)
> * backup 3 contains file 'a'
> However, the file 'a' in backups 1 and 3 are not linked. I guess the
> search by backup 3 stops when it hits the file 'a' with modified content
> in backup 2 and the earlier file in backup 1 that has the same content
> isn't found and therefore not linked.
> Is there a way to tell rsync  to continue trying futher link-dest
> directories in the hope of finding a match ?
> I have rsync 3.1.2.

I am still interested in any response to my original question, but I've
just noticed that the --link-dest option can only be used a limited
number of times and, in my version of rsync (3.1.2), that limit is 10.

This is contrary to the error message that is reported when that limit
is exceeded, which states:

    rsync: ERROR: at most 20 --link-dest args may be specified

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