Having a problem that rsync does not set UID and GID as expected, my gut feeling is that rsync should be run as root on the destination machine.

I can't login as root via SSH, since that's disabled for security purposes. The user on the destination machine is able to use sudo.

Is it possible to use rsync with sudo?

up vote 43 down vote accepted

On the destination machine

  1. Find out the path to rsync: which rsync
  2. Edit the /etc/sudoers file: sudo visudo (see also: must I use visudo?)
  3. Add the line <username> ALL=NOPASSWD:<path to rsync>, where username is the login name of the user that rsync will use to log on. That user must be able to use sudo

Then, on the source machine, specify that sudo rsync shall be used:

rsync ... --rsync-path="sudo rsync" ...

Using it without the NOPASSWD on the destination machine will result in the message

sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified

  • What is the modification to this that would allow any user in a specific group to do this? Instead of <username> is there a <groupname> version? – Brian Apr 1 '17 at 3:30
  • 1
    Thanks, only I use pki so I used -e="ssh -i $PRIVATE_KEY_PATH" --rsync-path="sudo rsync" – A T May 15 '17 at 6:01
  • Of course <username> can now read/write everything as root using rsync, locally and remote, so the part about not being able to log in as root due to security concerns is kinda moot... cause essentially you're doing that now. – hmn Aug 2 at 21:16
  • @hmn: not exactly. Disabling root access on SSH basis will prevent some brute force login attacks. In my case, I log on with a keyfile and I need a different password for that than for the sudo command. sudo does quite a good job protecting us, e.g. you cannot have an open root shell forever and it gives you logging. I personally like it. – Thomas Weller Aug 3 at 6:25

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