rsync errors

I was having an issue with my rsync command:

time rsync --progress --verbose --acls --xattrs --exclude="/lib/mysql/ibdata1" --exclude="*.tmp" --stats --human-readable --recursive --del --force --times --links --hard-links --executability --numeric-ids --owner --group --perms --sparse --compress-level=6 diligence-test:/usr/ /data/temp/2017-11-15-163925/usr/

getting stuck during "receiving incremental file list" then giving up with:

Timeout, server diligence-test not responding.
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (16384 bytes received so far) [receiver]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(235) [receiver=3.1.2]
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (32569 bytes received so far) [generator]
rsync error: unexplained error (code 255) at io.c(235) [generator=3.1.2]
Command exited with non-zero status 255

I could see the server-side process hang in select() with:

root@diligence-test:/home/jj5# ps aux | grep rsync
root      5421  0.0  0.1  15636  2660 ?        Ss   18:55   0:00 rsync --server --sender -vlHogtpAXrSe.iLsfxC --numeric-ids . /usr/

root@diligence-test:/home/jj5# strace -p 5421
strace: Process 5421 attached
select(1, [0], [], [0], {42, 979828})   = 0 (Timeout)

Anyway I figured out how to dodge the problem by nominating --delete-before instead of --del, e.g.:

time rsync --progress --verbose --acls --xattrs --exclude="/lib/mysql/ibdata1" --exclude="*.tmp" --stats --human-readable --recursive --delete-before --force --times --links --hard-links --executability --numeric-ids --owner --group --perms --sparse --compress-level=6 diligence-test:/usr/ /data/temp/2017-11-15-163925/usr/

Waiting for VirtualBox guests to close before reboot or shutdown

See this and this. Basically:

vim /etc/init.d/virtualbox
chmod +x /etc/init.d/virtualbox
update-rc.d virtualbox defaults

The /etc/init.d/virtualbox script should look like this:


# 2017-08-07 jj5 - SEE: How make Debian wait for all VirtualBox guests to
# stop during shutdown/reboot?:

# Provides:          virtualbox_start_and_stop
# Required-Start:    $local_fs $network
# Required-Stop:     $local_fs
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: 
# Description:       Start virtualbox on boot, and shutdown safely on shutdown/reboot.

case "$1" in
    echo "Starting Virtualbox "

    # Do whatever to start or resume your virtualbox instances.
    # Perhaps look for a txt file someplace with VMs that need to be
    # restarted or resumed... then start 'em.
    echo "Stopping Virtualbox"

    # Do something to either shutdown or savestate your virtualbox instances.
    # maybe also save the instances that should be resumed into a txt file
    # someplace for the start method above.

    # 2017-08-07 jj5 - SEE:

    # 2017-08-07 jj5 - NOTE: You should make sure that ACPI Shutdown actually
    # shuts down the guest...
    # 2017-08-07 jj5 - SEE: Force Ubuntu Desktop to shutdown on power button:

    while [ -n "$( sudo -u jj5 VBoxManage list runningvms )" ]; do

      sudo -u jj5 VBoxManage list runningvms \
        | sed -r 's/.*\{(.*)\}/\1/' \
        | xargs -L1 -I {} sudo -u jj5 VBoxManage controlvm {} acpipowerbutton;

      sleep 1;


    echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/virtualbox {start|stop}"
    exit 1

exit 0

You may also need to Force Ubuntu Desktop to shutdown on power button keypress...

VirtualBox VBoxManage for autostart

I have a script tact:/etc/vbox/ which will register a VirtualBox VM for auto-start. It required other config in /etc/vbox the details of which I don't remember, but I think it's done now anyway... there's more information in Starting virtual machines during system boot.

  online "$machine" && {

    report "halting machine '$machine'...";

    ssh "$machine" sudo poweroff;

    report "waiting a moment...";

    sleep 8;


  run VBoxManage modifyvm "$machine" --autostart-enabled on;

  run sudo service vboxautostart-service restart;

Up-Goer 1984

Do you see what I did here? :)

rsync: unexpected remote arg

So I was getting a baffling "unexpected remote arg" error from rsync today. Eventually I figured out the problem was that my argument "--executability" had become "-- executablility", I think due to a copy and paste problem where I copied some shell script code from Vim in a Konsole terminal into another Vim in another Konsole terminal. Traps for young players! If you get baffled by this error try putting an 'echo' in front of the command and then resize your terminal window to see if that affects things...