--delete-missing-args doesn't delete

MI mi.lists at alma.ch
Tue Apr 23 09:29:58 UTC 2019

I'm generating a list of files to sync, and would like all the files not 
in my list to be deleted from the destination. I thought that 
--delete-missing-args would do just that, but it doesn't delete anything.

Would someone have an idea of what I'm doing wrong?

This is what I tried :

~$ mkdir -p /tmp/source /tmp/dest

~$ for i in {1..3}; do echo "keep $i"      > /tmp/source/keep$i; done

~$ for i in {4..5}; do echo "to remove $i" > /tmp/source/to-delete-$i; done

~$ rsync -va /tmp/source/ /tmp/dest/
sending incremental file list

sent 410 bytes  received 114 bytes  1,048.00 bytes/sec
total size is 45  speedup is 0.09

~$ for i in {1..3}; do touch /tmp/source/keep$i; done

~$ cd /tmp/source/

/tmp/source$ find . -name "keep*" | tee /tmp/source/file-list

Now, using my file-list which does not include the "to-delete*" files, I 
hoped that these would be deleted. The new files were correctly copied, 
but nothing was deleted:

/tmp/source$ rsync -vva --delete --delete-missing-args --force 
--files-from=/tmp/source/file-list . /tmp/dest/
building file list ... done
delta-transmission disabled for local transfer or --whole-file
total: matches=0  hash_hits=0  false_alarms=0 data=21

sent 259 bytes  received 143 bytes  804.00 bytes/sec
total size is 21  speedup is 0.05

/tmp/source$ ls -Al /tmp/dest/
total 20
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mi mi  7 Apr 22 23:43 keep1
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mi mi  7 Apr 22 23:43 keep2
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mi mi  7 Apr 22 23:43 keep3
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mi mi 12 Apr 22 23:42 to-delete-4
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mi mi 12 Apr 22 23:42 to-delete-5

The files not in my --files-from list are still at the destination.

Thanks for any help,


PS: my version of rsync :

~$ rsync --version
rsync  version 3.1.1  protocol version 31
Copyright (C) 1996-2014 by Andrew Tridgell, Wayne Davison, and others.
Web site: http://rsync.samba.org/
     64-bit files, 64-bit inums, 64-bit timestamps, 64-bit long ints,
     socketpairs, hardlinks, symlinks, IPv6, batchfiles, inplace,
     append, ACLs, xattrs, iconv, symtimes, prealloc

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