Backups broken when "ssh_args" are set

Bug #1309710 reported by Steve Beattie on 2014-04-18
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
rsnapshot (Debian)
Fix Released
rsnapshot (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

[Impact/Test Case]

In ubuntu 14.04 LTS, rsnapshot 1.3.1-4 is broken when 'ssh_args' are set in the rsnapshot configuration file. For example, I set ssh_args to '-p 22022', which causes my rsnapshot backup to fail with he following error:

  rsync: Failed to exec /usr/bin/ssh -p 22022: No such file or directory (2)
  rsync error: error in IPC code (code 14) at pipe.c(85) [Receiver=3.1.0]

This worked in saucy's 1.3.1-3 rsnapshot; the newer version has changed the way rsync is invoked from rsnapshot, passing an array to perl's system() function (which is not interpreted by a shell before being exec()ed) rather than a constructed single string, which is interpreted by a shell, and thus requires the arguments passed to rsync's -rsh argument to be quoted so as to be gathered into a single argument by the shell.

[Regression Potential]
Fix identified here:

(This was also reported in debian bug

Andreas Olsson (andol) wrote :

Setting as confirmed, based on content of Debian bug.

Changed in rsnapshot (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Steve Beattie (sbeattie) wrote :

The patch in the debian git tree at;a=blob;f=debian/patches/14_rsync_rsh_quoting.diff;h=d554a82d556f0bc5f9a4707eda66ebeb4caa48d8;hb=f22cb49a8d76c0856f9a6f66ab17fe436b298f2a solves the issue for me. I've tested ssh with args, ssh without args, and no ssh involved, and rsnapshot functions correctly.

I've uploaded a version of the rsnapshot package for testing to my personal ppa at .

Steve Beattie (sbeattie) wrote :

Attached is an rsnapshot debdiff for a trusty SRU.

The attachment "rsnapshot_1.3.1-4ubuntu1.debdiff" seems to be a debdiff. The ubuntu-sponsors team has been subscribed to the bug report so that they can review and hopefully sponsor the debdiff. If the attachment isn't a patch, please remove the "patch" flag from the attachment, remove the "patch" tag, and if you are member of the ~ubuntu-sponsors, unsubscribe the team.

[This is an automated message performed by a Launchpad user owned by ~brian-murray, for any issue please contact him.]

tags: added: patch
Changed in rsnapshot (Debian):
status: Unknown → New
Andreas Hohenegger (hohenegger) wrote :

I found that the same version ignores excludes from the configuration file like

exclude '/home/[a-z]*/.cache/'

Can this have the same origin or should I create a new report.
The version from does not seem to fix it.

Steve Beattie (sbeattie) wrote :

Andreas: sorry, that's a different issue, you should create a new bug report for that. Thanks!

hede (michael-heide) wrote :

It seems the following is also related:

(I fixed it with reverting that patch)

Lupe Christoph (lupe) wrote :

To describe the fix explicitly for impatient people like me:

Change line 3459 in /usr/bin/rsnapshot, remove the two escaped quotes (\"). The result should be this:

push( @rsync_long_args_stack, "--rsh=$config_vars{'cmd_ssh'} $ssh_args" );

We can confirm this!

We came to the same result as Lupe Christoph!

@Lupe you beat us by 19 Hours.

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

Thanks, Steve! I've uploaded to both utopic and trusty.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package rsnapshot - 1.3.1-4ubuntu1

rsnapshot (1.3.1-4ubuntu1) utopic; urgency=medium

  * debian/patches/14_rsync_rsh_quoting.diff: remove quoting on the
    --rsh arguments to rsync due to the different way rsync is invoked
    via system() in 1.3.1-4 (LP: #1309710)
 -- Steve Beattie <email address hidden> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:26:43 -0700

Changed in rsnapshot (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
Chris J Arges (arges) wrote :

Hi Steve, can you please include the SRU template in this bug before it gets accepted into -proposed thanks!

Hello Steve, or anyone else affected,

Accepted rsnapshot into trusty-proposed. The package will build now and be available at in a few hours, and then in the -proposed repository.

Please help us by testing this new package. See for documentation how to enable and use -proposed. Your feedback will aid us getting this update out to other Ubuntu users.

If this package fixes the bug for you, please add a comment to this bug, mentioning the version of the package you tested, and change the tag from verification-needed to verification-done. If it does not fix the bug for you, please add a comment stating that, and change the tag to verification-failed. In either case, details of your testing will help us make a better decision.

Further information regarding the verification process can be found at . Thank you in advance!

description: updated
Changed in rsnapshot (Ubuntu Trusty):
status: New → Fix Committed
tags: added: verification-needed
Peter Kieser (pfak) wrote :

Package 1.3.1-4ubuntu0.1 on trusty-proposed fixes the bug.

tags: added: verification-done
removed: verification-needed
Steve Beattie (sbeattie) wrote :

I've also verified that the fix in trusty-proposed fixes the bug. I've also tested the package with configurations that don't set ssh_args to confirm that they still continue to work. Thanks!

Jeromy (jeromykeloway) wrote :

Thanks for fixing.

How long will it take to move this fix into trusty-updates? Because I don't want to activate trusty-proposed on my system :)

Chris Halse Rogers (raof) wrote :

Like this:

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package rsnapshot - 1.3.1-4ubuntu0.1

rsnapshot (1.3.1-4ubuntu0.1) trusty; urgency=medium

  * debian/patches/14_rsync_rsh_quoting.diff: remove quoting on the
    --rsh arguments to rsync due to the different way rsync is invoked
    via system() in 1.3.1-4 (LP: #1309710)
 -- Steve Beattie <email address hidden> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:26:43 -0700

Changed in rsnapshot (Ubuntu Trusty):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released

The verification of the Stable Release Update for rsnapshot has completed successfully and the package has now been released to -updates. Subsequently, the Ubuntu Stable Release Updates Team is being unsubscribed and will not receive messages about this bug report. In the event that you encounter a regression using the package from -updates please report a new bug using ubuntu-bug and tag the bug report regression-update so we can easily find any regresssions.

Changed in rsnapshot (Debian):
status: New → Fix Committed
Andreas Hilboll (andreas-h) wrote :

I'm still running into problems with rsnapshot (1.3.1-4ubuntu0.1):

I have

    ssh_args -p 22 -i /path/to/my/.ssh/id_rsa_rsnapshot

Then a backup entry like this

    backup <email address hidden>:/etc/ srv1/ exclude_file=/path/to/rsnapshot_prv.exclude,+rsync_short_args=-z

leads to the error

   rsync: -a -z: unknown option
   rsync error: syntax or usage error (code 1) at main.c(1572) [client=3.1.0]
   ERROR: /usr/bin/rsync returned 1 while processing <email address hidden>:/etc/

The executed rsync command was

   /usr/bin/rsync -a -z --delete --numeric-ids --relative --delete-excluded --exclude-from=/path/to/rsnapshot_prv.exclude --rsh=/usr/bin/ssh -p 22 -i /path/to/my/.ssh/id_rsa_rsnapshot <email address hidden>:/etc /backup/rsnapshot/.sync/srv1/

Without the "+rsync_short_args=-z", everything works fine.

Andreas Hilboll (andreas-h) wrote :

I should say that I can get my config to work again when I replace "+rsync_short_args=-z" by "+rsync_long_args=--compress", so this is not critical for me personally. However, the "+rsync_short_args=-z" DID work on Saucy, and I had to spend the last hour trying to figure out why my old config didn't work any more on Trusty.

Changed in rsnapshot (Debian):
status: Fix Committed → New
Changed in rsnapshot (Debian):
status: New → Fix Released
Changed in rsnapshot (Debian):
status: Fix Released → New
Changed in rsnapshot (Debian):
status: New → Fix Released
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