[tex-live] rsync?

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Thu Apr 21 01:18:14 CEST 2016

Hi Bob,

    Neither https://www.tug.org/texlive/pretest.html nor man rsync suggests
    that -- is necessary after the options.  

Right, because it is not necessary.

    Neither the syntax at the tlpretest site nor the syntax in
    man rsync work:

Sorry to say it, but I don't believe you accurately copied the syntax in
either case.  I admit it's a confusing and error-prone point, which I
wish could be different.

In short, there are two syntaxes for rsync:


The first (rsync's own made-up syntax) uses a :: to separate host from path.
The second is the standard url syntax for any protocol, no :: anywhere,
but rather PROTONAME://HOSTNAME/PATH.  Just like, say,

Since the mirmon page uses the :: syntax (wouldn't be my choice, but I
don't want to hack the mirmon script for this), I changed pretest.html
to use that too, in a vain attempt to reduce confusion.

    rsync -a --delete --exclude="mactex*" rsync://ftp.math.utah.edu/texlive/tlpretest tlpretest/
    rsync: failed to connect to ftp.math.utah.edu ( No route to host (113)

That syntax is correct and works for me right now.  You can test without
actually transferring files with, e.g., (no destination directory):
rsync rsync://ftp.math.utah.edu/texlive/tlpretest | head 

I believe that what happened in this case was a sad coincidence of an
Internet outage that prevented access to utah.edu (and a lot of other
places) at the time you were trying it.  Lots of my nightly cron jobs
(not related to TL or rsync or Utah) failed.  Ping working does not
prove a working TCP connection ...

    Do I need to specify a non-standard port or a specific user?  

No.  The mirrors support anonymous access on the standard rsync port.

    do *not* end with /.   

Ah.  I hadn't noticed that mirmon was "helpfully" removing the trailing
/ from the rsync urls.  In my mirmon source file there are trailing /'s.
I think I've changed the mirmon script to keep the /'s.

Anyway, as jfbu described:
With a trailing / -> save files locally at the "top level", e.g., README.
No trailing / -> save files locally with the last dir component, e.g.,

So either is workable, it's a matter of what one wants.  I admit it's
another confusing point, and the description on the man page is not
exactly simple to read.

    My rsync is the latest available for Centos7.

Aside: CentOS (actually Red Hat) lies about version numbers in most
packages.  They backport changes from version X+1, X+2, ..., to version
X, without changing the reported version number.  So you never really
know what you have, relative to the original upstream release.  Sigh.

Anyway, the security stuff in rsync is almost always about the server,
rather than the client, so probably nothing to worry about.  (tug.org
runs the latest rsync, which I compile from the original source rather
than relying on any distro.)


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