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I have a server configured to run rsync as demon /etc/rsyncd.conf file:

log file = /var/log/rsyncd.log
pid file = /var/run/rsyncd.pid
lock file = /var/run/rsync.lock

   path = /home/user/work
   comment = User's Documents folder
   uid = user
   gid = user
   read only = no
   auth users = user
   secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets

/etc/rsyncd.secrets file:


on the client side I run:

rsync my_file user@ip_address::documents

and I receive the following error:

@ERROR: auth failed on module documents
rsync error: error starting client-server protocol (code 5) at main.c(1524) [sender=3.0.7]

On the server I have a root user named user with different password. On the client side I tried both passwords with the same results.

What I'm doing wrong?

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In order to use rsync as a deamon I use [documents] path = /home/user/work comment = User's Documents folder read only = no . Without a user and authentication. –  telebog Mar 1 '11 at 9:55
Is there a specific reason you are wanting to use rsyncd? It is far easier and more secure using rsync via ssh like this: rsync -avP /source user@host:/destination –  UtahJarhead Oct 16 '12 at 18:59

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I get the same error and when Im looking in the log file I get this message:

secrets file must not be other-accessible

So probably you have to change the permission of the file.

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Look in /var/log/rsyncd.log. Maybe the perms in your "/etc/rsyncd.secrets " file are too wide.

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2011/03/01 11:49:07 [13367] connect from user2.local ( 2011/03/01 11:49:10 [13367] auth failed on module work from user2.local ( unauthorized user in /etc/rsyncd.secrets file I added: user2:passwd user2.local:passwd But same result. –  telebog Mar 1 '11 at 9:52

The problem could be a space in front of the password:

  • Wrong: user: password

  • Right: user:password

As the others said, you also have to make sure the permissions are set correctly (chmod o-rwx) but this is a different issue.

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The answer by schemanen is correct, however you have the option to disable strict modes in rsyncd.conf without removing read permissions from the secrets file from other users.

in your /etc/rsyncd.conf add:

strict modes = false

and finally restart the rsync daemon.

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