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Thread: rsync based backup solution doesn't delete files

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    rsync based backup solution doesn't delete files

    Hi all,

    I'm using cron to run rsync every night to backup from one hard drive to another. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get the --delete option to work through cron - although it seems to work just fine when I run rsync with the same arguments on test directories using my own user. This makes me think it's a user/permissions problem (although rsync is indeed copying the files as desired - it's just not deleting files on the backup drive which I've removed from the working drive).

    The command I'm running is:

    /usr/bin/rsync -avltr --delete /home/mbeeby /mnt/backup2

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what I'm doing wrong?

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: rsync based backup solution doesn't delete files

    In order to use -a to apply the correct permissions/owners you would need to run it as root.

    Does it work when you run it with sudo?

    FYI: -a = -rlptgoD

    You can run rsync like so:

    rsync --archive --verbose --delete /home/mbeeby /mnt/backup2
    I've got mine set to use -i (--itemize-changes) so that it will show me what it is doing, instead of using verbose mode.

    EDIT: If you are just testing it to make sure it's deleting files, you can add --dry-run so that it doesn't actually modify anything.
    Last edited by CharlesA; September 8th, 2010 at 04:49 PM.
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