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Is there a version of rsync that runs on current Windows versions and can handle non-ASCII file names? Every version I checked (including cwRsync and client) fail miserably on files with Unicode characters in names.

If such version of rsync does not exist, what other tool might I use for bandwidth-efficient synchronization of files between Windows and Linux?

I'm synchronizing large, rarely changing file trees over a relatively slow link. The difference between the rsync-style synchronization and full-copy approaches is significant.

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Haven't tested it, but what about installing cygwin and using their rsync? – gogators May 1 '13 at 20:34
@KevinVW: have tested it, the cygwin's rsync version does exhibit the bug I'm complaining about. – 9000 May 1 '13 at 20:44
have you already tried using the --iconv option? – artistoex May 1 '13 at 21:44
@artistoex: yes, --iconv indeed solves the problem. Please make your comment into an answer so that I could accept it :) – 9000 May 12 '13 at 3:59
up vote 7 down vote accepted

rsync offers an --iconv option for filename character encoding conversion. It accepts arguments for fine-grained control over source and target encoding.

From the rsync man page:

[...] you can fully specify what conversion to do by giving a 
local and a remote charset separated by a comma in the 
order --iconv=LOCAL,REMOTE, e.g.  --iconv=utf8,iso88591.
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I am using rsync daemon in linux as server to backup my files. Client cwRsync in windows for send files. I encount filename encoding problem too. When i added --iconv=gbk,utf8 in command line args, got below error. How can i to slove it? sending incremental file list rsync: writefd_unbuffered failed to write 4 bytes [sender]: Connection reset by peer (104) rsync: read error: Connection reset by peer (104) rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at /home/lapo/packaging/rsync-3.0.4-1/src/rsync-3.0.4/io.c(791) [sender=3.0.4] – IlPADlI Feb 28 at 19:07
You should post that as a separate question – artistoex Mar 23 at 9:15
But your problem looks like what is described here:… – artistoex Mar 23 at 22:51

If you tried to use DeltaCopy, then get UTF-8 capable cygwin (=cygwin1.dll) from The solution has been a must for the japans and they have had it at least since 2006.

Unpack the dll binary by using 7zip twice. Then remove original cygwin1.dll from your DeltaCopy program folder and put the new one instead. Beware: Old and new have exactly equal appearances. Keep it clear which one is the new. After changing the dll in client and server, the transmission works ok between two Windows machines. Sadly the client console displays gibberish when it tries to show some filename having multibyte UTF-8 chars, but the transmissin works.

I've not tried what happens if the backup server has Linux or some else UNIX-resemblant (for example Nas4Free) and only the client in Windows machine is fixed.

Obviously rsync handles UTF-8 but cygwin doesn't. In DeltaCopy's cygwin the UTF-8 filenames are at first misspelled and when a copy of a file is tried to create, the file seems to be vanished.


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