Per file Log output to understand hard-link decision

Kevin Korb kmk at
Sun May 14 12:42:58 UTC 2023

The only way I know of to determine this behavior is to use the 
--link-dest option in rsync OR use the much older cp -al then rsync over 
top of it method.  With --link-dest a change in the file's metadata 
causes rsync to duplicate the file in order to store both versions of 
the metadata.  With the old cp -al method rsync just makes the metadata 
change on the hard link already in the target which causes all instances 
of the file to be changed rather than the file being duplicated.

On 5/14/23 08:38, c.buhtz--- via rsync wrote:
> Hello,
> I know it is a often discussed topic how rsync decide about using
> hardlinks or copy a file. Even if content is unchanged problems are
> often file permissions and owner ships. I know that.
> Is it possible to configure rsync that way that it logs for each file
> its decision about using a hardlink and if not why exactly it doesn't?
> The background of my question:
> I'm part of maintainer team of "Back In Time" a desktop backup software
> using rsync in the back. For years we have users reporting about the
> hardlink problem. And we are sure that it isn't their fault but ours.
> We can't reproduce the problems for sure but we observe the behavior
> also on our own machines sometimes.
> It would help our investigation if we could better understand the
> hardlink-decision for each file and folder.
> Kind
> Christian

	Kevin Korb			Phone:    (407) 252-6853
	Systems Administrator		Internet:
	FutureQuest, Inc.		Kevin at  (work)
	Orlando, Florida		kmk at (personal)
	Web page:
	PGP public key available on web site.

More information about the rsync mailing list