rsync question

Patton Echols p.echols at
Fri Jun 19 16:02:05 UTC 2009

On 06/19/2009 05:59 AM, Ray Leventhal wrote:
> <huge snip>
>>> That is an excerpt, the same error message reports for every file and 
>>> directory.  However,  a simple test shows that the transfer works 
>>> correctly in both directions.  Any thoughts on how this could  be fixed?
>>> fwiw, this is rsync version 2.6.9 on Hardy.
>> If the thumb drive is formatted with FAT or NTFS, the filesystem doesn't
>> store user and group IDs. You can use the --no-group option.
> Bill's got the exact issue there, I think.  If the TD is not formatted 
> ext2 or ext3, you should be getting issues like that.  If you can't 
> format the thumbdrive with ext2 or 3, do try the --no-group option and 
> let us know how that works for you.
> HTH,
> -Ray
Doh!  That makes sense.  But since I need to be able to give pass the 
drive off to windows users, ext2 or 3 is not really an option. 

There is another negative consequence of this particular behavior.  Once 
I go and look, I see that the "download" version, of the command sets 
the files in my home directory to group=root.  Not desirable I think.  
Since I am still the owner, I can still access, and I don't really know 
the downside.  I also know I can  chrgp those files, I think better just 
"not go there". 

The following is in case others are having the same issue and googling 
for answers.  My efforts have not come up with answers on point.  (Lots 
of discussion on similar error messages about an rsync bug, which this 
clearly is not!)  If anyone reads the rest, I'm of course open to 
feedback about whether I got something wrong.

If using a FAT or NTFS format thumb drive, you should not use the -a 
switch to set the transfer options.  The man page and my exploding of it 
says this:

 -a, --archive = archive mode; same as -rlptgoD (no -H, -A)

-r = recursive
-l = links ; copy symlinks as symlinks
-p = perms ; preserve permissions
-t = times ; preserve times
-g = group ; preserve group
-o = owner ; preserve owner (super-user only)
-D = same as --devices -- specials
--devices = preserve device files (super users only)
--specials = preserve special files

Also, the -a switch does not include -u which will only update older 
files, this has not bit me in the backside, but it could.  So, I think 
that the appropriate string for a home folder to a same name folder on a 
thumbdrive should be this:

rsync -rltDu ~/foo/ /media/disk/foo

rsync -rltDu /media/disk/foo/ ~/foo

(assumes that the thumbdrive is mounted as /media/disk


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list