Implicit containing directory sometimes rejected as unrequested

jimc jimc at
Sat Sep 24 05:12:49 UTC 2022

Version: rsync-3.2.6-1.1.x86_64 from OpenSuSE Tumbleweed, get it from
(or .src.rpm).

Symptom: In certain circumstances (see the reproducer script), rsync
from a remote source to a local destination and using a --files-from 
sometimes rejects an implicit containing directory with this error 
     ERROR: rejecting unrequested file-list name: usr/lib64
     rsync error: protocol incompatibility (code 2) at flist.c(998) \

Success or failure depends on arcane determinstic variations, and there
is a suspicion that the same input might produce different output at
different times.  However, I repeated two variants 20 times a few secs
apart and they always worked or failed.

I've found these variant behaviors:
* With either sender version, receiver 3.2.5 always works and 3.2.6
   sometimes fails.
* If both the source and destination are local, it always works.
* If the destination is remote, it works.  Failures are seen with a
   remote source.
* All my test cases have two implicit containing directories.
   The first one has never been seen to fail but the second one does.
   I haven't investigated if third or subsequent dirs would fail.
   In one case where the second dir failed, exchanging the two filenames
   led to both of them succeeding.
* I'm using rsync in a configuration management system and it needs some
   options.  If I remove -K -O --numeric-ids leaving only --rsh=ssh -a
   --files-from, it fails or works equally.
* If I add --trust-sender then failing cases start working.

v3.2.5 has an addition to recognize if a rogue sender adds unrequested
toplevel names etc.  (CVE-2022-29154)  The option --trust-sender
disables the new paranoia.  If this option is added to the execution
command line, spurious rejections disappear.  Clearly the bugfixes in
file-list processing added in v3.2.6 had a bad interaction with the new

Attaching reproducer script .

James F. Carter   Email: jimc at
Web: (q.v. for PGP key)
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