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I am trying to rsync files from one server to another but getting this error

rsync: failed to set times on "/dept/intranet/dept/atest/.": Operation not permitted (1)

Can someone help me why so ?

I guess it is some permissions issue.

This is my command:



LOCAL_DIR = workplace1/f1/
permissions drwxr-xr-x   11 root     root         4096 Mar 19  2009 f1

permissions :drwxr-xr-x 14 dbld   a1     4096 Mar 19  2009 f1     
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 16 '10 at 3:40

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could you give us more information? * your rsync command * local+remote user * file permissions –  Brian Clozel Oct 14 '10 at 11:53
edited the question. –  TopCoder Oct 14 '10 at 12:07

2 Answers 2

Just so we're on the same page:

-r recursive
-l preserve links
-c sync based on file checksum
-t preserve modification times

Then two things:

It's just a filesystem thingy

If the destination folder is a NFS mount, or some filesystem that doesn't handle well mod-times, well it breaks.

Try adding the -O (for --omit-dir-times) parameter to your command.

Modification times will be preserved, but omitted for directories:


This is my best guess, since file sync seems to work, and your error happens on mod time sync. Anyway, do you really need to preserve modification times? The -c option skip files based on checksum (so mod times doesn't matter).

Or it is, actually, a permission problem

  • does the user running the script have enough privileges to edit/write the destination folder? (try ssh -vv test.desktop "touch /dept/intranet/dept/atest/f1/test")
  • does the user running the script is "the Right One™" (try ssh -vv thegooduser@test.desktop "touch /dept/intranet/dept/atest/f1/test")

None of the above

Run your command with the -v option, for verbose.

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Thank you for the --omit-dir-times tip. Really helps. –  JakeGould Dec 24 '13 at 2:09

Add -O (--omit-dir-times) to your command line to avoid it trying to set modification times on directories.

Also read this: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/667992/rsync-error-failed-to-set-times-on-foo-txt-operation-not-permitted

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