Spaces in a rsync variable

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# 1  
Old 10-18-2009
Question Spaces in a rsync variable

The following code doesn't work because of the space in "My Documents".
Is there a way to set the "sources" variable and then use it in rsync?
I tried escape space (\ ) and quotes, but nothing worked.

sources="'/home/wolf'  '/media/sda1/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents'"

rsync -rltxn "$sources" "$destination"

What is the proper way to preserve spaces in this situation?

Thank you.
# 2  
Old 10-18-2009
Have you tried:
sources="/home/wolf  '/media/sda1/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents'"
rsync -rltxn $sources $destination

If you use "" around $sources then rsync will see it as one argument, whereas it should be two separate arguments..

You could also try:
sources="/home/wolf  /media/sda1/Documents\ and\ Settings/Administrator/My\ Documents"

# 3  
Old 10-18-2009
Hi Scrutinizer,
I tried both, and both got this error:
rsync: link_stat "/media/USBdrive/backups/backup1" failed: No such file or directory (2)

# 4  
Old 10-18-2009
What does
ls -ld /media/USBdrive/backups/backup1

# 5  
Old 10-18-2009

Thank you for taking a look at this. Here is the code for backup_now_test2:
sources="/home/wolf/test  '/media/sda1/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents'"

echo "\$sources causes an error:"
rsync -rltxn $sources $destination
echo "end rsync\n"

echo "sources work fine when they are a string literal:"
rsync -rltxn /home/wolf/test  '/media/sda1/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents' $destination
echo "end rsync\n"

Here is the output of backup_now_test2 and "ls -ld /media/USBdrive/backups/backup1" and "ls -ld /media/USBdrive/backups":
wolf-PC:~/PC_maintenance/rsync> sudo ./backup_now_test2
$sources causes an error:
rsync: change_dir "/home/wolf/PC_maintenance/rsync/'/home/wolf" failed: No such file or directory (2)
rsync: change_dir "/home/wolf/PC_maintenance/rsync/'/media/sda1" failed: No such file or directory (2)
rsync: link_stat "/home/wolf/PC_maintenance/rsync/and" failed: No such file or directory (2)
rsync: change_dir "/home/wolf/PC_maintenance/rsync/Settings/Administrator" failed: No such file or directory (2)
rsync: link_stat "/home/wolf/PC_maintenance/rsync/Documents'" failed: No such file or directory (2)
rsync error: some files/attrs were not transferred (see previous errors) (code 23) at main.c(1058) [sender=3.0.5]
end rsync

sources work fine when they are a string literal:
end rsync

wolf-PC:~/PC_maintenance/rsync> ls -ld /media/USBdrive/backups/backup1
ls: cannot access /media/USBdrive/backups/backup1: No such file or directory
wolf-PC:~/PC_maintenance/rsync> ls -ld /media/USBdrive/backups
drwx------ 3 wolf root 16384 2009-10-12 23:24 /media/USBdrive/backups

When it works, rsync creates the destination backup1.

Last edited by wolfv; 10-18-2009 at 12:37 PM..
# 6  
Old 10-18-2009
Hi Wolfv,

The problem lies in the fact that either you put quotes around the variables, but then rsync interprets them a single path. Or you do not put quotes around them but then the spaces can not be escaped. I can see two work-arounds:

1. Put the source paths in separate variables
sources2="/media/sda1/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents"

rsync -rltxnv $sources "$sources2" $destination

You can put as many directories in $sources as you like but you would have to use a separate variable for each path that contains spaces.

2. Use eval.
sources="/home/wolf/test '/media/sda1/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents'"

eval rsync -rltxnv $sources $destination

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