rsync colon in filename to MSWin fails

davetbo dave at
Mon Jun 8 14:27:14 UTC 2009

Here's a good workaround.

This works for me from Linux to Win32.  In your rsync script, before the
rsync, do either

find ./ -name '*:*' | xargs tar -czvf colon_files.tgz 

or (if you're doing the whole box as an rsync backup, like I am) do 

locate : | xargs tar -czvf colon_files.tgz

Make sure that colon_files.tgz is in the path that's getting backed up by
rsync.  Then you can do the --exclude '*:*' in your rsync job to skip the
files you just tarred.  I tested this with the locate version above and it
works.  Also, updatedb & locate should go much faster than find if you want
to do the whole box.  I'm not sure if there's a way to use locate to just
search a subdirectory, though.


Anton Shterenlikht wrote:
> I cannot trasfer a file with a colon via rsync to a Win box.
> I've rsync-3.0.4 on the FBSD (sending side) and rsync-2.6.9
> under cygwin on Win (receiving side). I'm not sure what the
> error message means:
> % rsync ./http:__en.wikipedia.org_favicon.ico mexas at
> rsync: rename "/cygdrive/c/Documents and Settings/mexas/My
> Documents/work/.http:__en.wikipedia.org_favicon.ico.8dBX2K" ->
> "http:__en.wikipedia.org_favicon.ico": No such file or directory (2)
> rsync error: some files/attrs were not transferred (see previous errors)
> (code 23) at main.c(1040) [sender=3.0.4]
> Note the extra dot before the file name, and extra suffix at the
> end. Is this the expected behaviour?
> However, to another FBSD box transfer is fine:
> % rsync ./http:__en.wikipedia.org_favicon.ico mexas at zzz.zzz.zzz.zzz:
> %
> Is this something to do with Windows, or old rsync version on cygwin?
> Even more bizzare, I get the same error even if I "--exclude" all
> such files from transfer.
> many thanks
> anton
> -- 
> Anton Shterenlikht
> Room 2.6, Queen's Building
> Mech Eng Dept
> Bristol University
> University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
> Tel: +44 (0)117 928 8233 
> Fax: +44 (0)117 929 4423
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