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rsync errors

Recently, I haven't been able to transfer files between two shell accounts using rsync and scp. Today, I decided to tackle the problem. When I issue rsync from one server, I get the following error message:

unexpected tag 94
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(689)

From the other server, I get the following error message:

protocol version mismatch - is your shell clean?
(see the rsync man page for an explanation)
rsync error: protocol incompatibility (code 2) at compat.c(60)

Very particular problems indeed. I search on the web but got no viable results. But I remembered recently that I had installed the (GPL) script. After removing the script from my startup file, the transfer worked just fine.

I guess my startup scripts needs to be a little smarter. Only run the script when I log in, but not when rsync and scp log in. But I have no clue how to do that yet . . . anyone?

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 14 Dec 2007 10:44:03 +0000

Ok, I figured it out. To determine if the shell is interactive, you can check the $- variable. If the content of the variable includes the character 'i', then the shell is interactive. See the following example:

interactive=`echo $- | grep -c "i"`
if [ $interactive -eq 1 ]
then &

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 14 Dec 2007 11:03:57 +0000

I bumped into this problem again today. I got the "protocol version mismatch" error again. But luckily this time, I knew exactly what I did to cause it. I place "echo" calls inside my ".cshrc". Apparently, rsync can't handle any outputs to stdout. I guess I'll have to use the interactive flag all over.

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 20 Jun 2009 02:31:15 +0000

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