If I understand correctly, rsync tries to connect to a remote rsync server when transferring files via -e ssh. This worked well for me most of the time, but I am having problems rsyncing with a particular server.

If I verbose the transfer:

rsync -ar --verbose --progress source_file -e ssh server:dest_file

I see the following:

opening connection using: ssh server rsync --server -vvlogDtpre.iLsf . 

and it stands there, forever. I should note that I can manually ssh into that machine with no problem. In case it matters, I have a ControlMaster set up for this connection in my ssh config file, i.e.:

ControlMaster auto
ControlPath ~/.ssh/%r@%h:%p

This made me think about two questions:

  1. Why can't rsync connect to this particular server?
  2. Is there a way to force rsync to act like scp (and skip connecting to the remote rsync server)?
  • 2
    Does scp work? If interactive ssh (mostly) works but scp and rsync don't, read about MTU problems. Sep 14, 2011 at 23:47
  • @Guilles, I just checked and scp doesn't work either. Thanks for the link to the thread on MTU! I'll make sure to update this post as soon as I find out if that's relevant to my case. Sep 14, 2011 at 23:50
  • Is rsync installed on the remote server. Are both the local and remote rsync have a somewhat similar version? I have seen unusual issues in a few places where there is a large difference in versions.
    – Zoredache
    Sep 15, 2011 at 7:01
  • Is it possible you are running into os specific problems on the other end such as a full disk/partition/lv or something like that? What kind of server is this (linux/solaris/etc). Can you paste some logs (syslog for example) or the output of df?
    – Straphka
    Sep 15, 2011 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


A few things to try:

  • Try using rsync -e "ssh -vvv" to get more output.
  • Try debugging on the server.
  • Do you have any text output when you log in (e.g., running fortune, or anything that prints)?
  • You said that you can ssh. Can you in fact scp properly?

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