I have an rsync service that syncs files from remote machine to a machine that drops them on a network drive.

I need the copied files to take on the native permissions of the destination folder.

The sync process runs fine, but after it is finished, I cannot access some of the folders -- Permission Denied.

I am logged in as domain admin; it won't allow me to modify any permissions on said folders, either. What gives?

run command:

rsync.exe  -v -rlt -z --delete "src_path" "dst_path"
  • what command are you currently using to sync? – John T Nov 12 '09 at 17:10
up vote 24 down vote accepted

(from http://www.samba.org/ftp/rsync/rsync.html)

In summary: to give destination files (both old and new) the source permissions, use --perms.

To give new files the destination-default permissions (while leaving existing files unchanged), make sure that the --perms option is off and use --chmod=ugo=rwX (which ensures that all non-masked bits get enabled).

If you'd care to make this latter behavior easier to type, you could define a popt alias for it, such as putting this line in the file ~/.popt (the following defines the -Z option, and includes --no-g to use the default group of the destination dir):

    rsync alias -Z --no-p --no-g --chmod=ugo=rwX
  • thx a lot. I couldn't remember the right flags to use ... – Vokuhila-Oliba Jan 5 '10 at 18:31
  • 2
    This is relevant to rsync on Linux, but does not always resolve the issue when rsync'ing to a Windows drive, which is what the original post is asking. – Simon East May 29 '17 at 4:14

Cygwin's "posix" security has caused me lots of problems with Windows NTFS file permissions - even using --no-perms with rsync.

I found that newly-created files/folders don't properly inherit default permissions, but every file/folder ends up with lots of <not inherited> entries in the Windows file/folder Advnanced security tab. (And this problem is not just rsync-related).

I found this related post and this link both very helpful in how to resolve these problems using the noacl option in cygwin's /etc/fstab file. The downside of this solution is that cygwin loses the ability to set file/folder permissions, but in many cases this is not important.

(Googling this topic you'll probably find references to setting the CYGWIN=NONTSEC environment variable, but this is for cygwin v1.5 and doesn't work in cygwin v1.7 onwards.)

  • Editing the /etc/fstab file fixed it for me. I had to use rsync within cygwin instead of another deployment such as DeltaCopy to do this. – Matt Connolly Jan 21 '13 at 2:27
  • If you're just using the cwrsync package (and not cygwin) where do you put the fstab file? – Simon East May 29 '17 at 4:15
  • I do not use cygwin. I take a regular NTFS drive, mounted on OS X, and rsync files to it. Then, these files within Windows have completely screwed up permissions. Looking for a solution. – Steven Lu Dec 12 '17 at 21:19
  • looks like i have been using the "risky" method of mounting NTFS on macOS using the built-in driver, which is supposed to be much less stable than paragon/tuxera and FUSE drivers. So keep that in mind if you're in the same boat – Steven Lu Dec 12 '17 at 21:30

On Windows with DeltaCopy I could make it work with:

rsync --perms --chmod=a=rw,Da+x ...

It worked even with --recursive

  • This mostly worked, however, I had to change the --chmod option to include a=rwx so that batch files, etc. would properly execute. – Taylor Gerring Oct 3 '12 at 18:38
  • 1
    This is the only option that worked for me. Tried the --no-perms suggested above and the fstab to no avail. This one gave me only some <not inherited> permissions, which were kind of the permissions I wanted and included no Deny permission for the executing user. Thanks! – AronVanAmmers Oct 17 '12 at 10:23
  • DeltaCopy also contains a chmod executable that can fix the permissions afterwards, e.g. chmod -R 777 /cygdrive/g – jnnnnn Nov 13 '12 at 0:25
  • --perms is what was missing for me, to solve the copy as readonly issue. – Tyler S. Loeper Aug 16 at 13:21

rsync, at least on Cygwin has the following switch:

-A, --acls preserve ACLs (implies --perms)

My Cygwin version is:

CYGWIN_NT-6.3 1.7.29(0.272/5/3) 2014-04-07 13:46 x86_64 Cygwin

Hope this helps!

  • 1
    Welcome to Super User!  Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, for the sake of improvement it would be preferable to include details of how this answers the question (citing a source to back up your claim is a plus). – G-Man Apr 26 '15 at 1:28

The top rated answer only works if you're using rsync over ssh into windows. If you're using the cygwin rsync daemon just using noacl in /etc/fstab doesn't help, for whatever reason it doesn't honor inheritance even if you get rid of user and try noacl,override, etc. This seems to happen if you're rsyncing into a top level drive and use path = /cygdrive/whatever in /etc/rsyncd.conf. Instead, you need to make a separate mount point in /etc/fstab and use that in your rsyncd.conf instead :

D:\     /d_drive  ntfs    binary,posix=0,noacl,user,override      0 0

in /etc/rsyncd.conf, you'd have something like this :

use chroot = yes

[d_drive]
path = /d_drive
comment = d_drive
auth users = someUser
secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets
read only = false
write only = false
list = false
uid = someUser

Then I had to reboot the windows system, just restarting the rsync service alone didn't seem to help, it kept throwing chroot and chdir errors (even though /d_drive was mounted and use chroot = false and I could write to it). Then when you rsync into the windows system use :

cd /local/path/to/copy
rsync -rltD --no-p --no-g --no-o  ./ rsync://someUser@localhost:remotePort/d_drive/

In the past I have just re-assigned the permissions in Windows to my current user afterwards using takeown at an elevated command prompt as:

takeown /f <NameOfFolder> /r /d Y

Of course, if you used the correct rsync flags in the first place then this is unnecessary but if you didn't want to rerun rsync for files you have already copied then I would recommend this.

  • 1
    Welcome to Super User! Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. – DavidPostill Dec 21 '16 at 13:22
  • Given that the question is "what gives?" I would say its answer is not even a solution but an explanation so most of the answer on here don't answer the question. This is a still a useful and contextually appropriate addition to the issue but I can move it to a comment if more appropriate. – CodingLumis Dec 21 '16 at 16:40
  • Oh wait, I can't add comments because I don't have a reputation of 50+ so this will have to stay here. – CodingLumis Dec 21 '16 at 16:42
  • correct rsync flags > and what would those be? – oldmud0 Dec 27 '16 at 5:54
  • @oldmud0 see the answers that preceded mine for appropriate combinations of flags which set the permissions during the copy. My solution is ideally suited for those who have already copied the files and didn't want to delete them an copy them again to ensure the permissions are correct. – CodingLumis Dec 29 '16 at 10:38

I had this problem with rsnapshot, which uses rsync for backup. I overrided it removing --relative from rsync_long_args. After that folder c for disk itself with weird permissions does not creates.

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