Bug 12440 - make "rsync -N" == "rsync --numeric-ids" ?
Summary: make "rsync -N" == "rsync --numeric-ids" ?
Alias: None
Product: rsync
Classification: Unclassified
Component: core (show other bugs)
Version: 3.1.2
Hardware: All All
: P5 enhancement (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Wayne Davison
QA Contact: Rsync QA Contact
Depends on:
Reported: 2016-11-23 09:15 UTC by Harri
Modified: 2016-11-23 21:37 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:

proposed patch (2.17 KB, patch)
2016-11-23 09:27 UTC, Harri
no flags Details

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Description Harri 2016-11-23 09:15:11 UTC
Hi folks,

"--numeric-ids" is a lot of text and easy to be forgotten or misspelled.

Since it is a highly important option for making backups of remote systems via rsync I wonder if "-N" could be introduced as an abbreviation for "--numeric-ids"? "-N" is not in use yet, afaics.

Just a suggestion, of course. Keep on your good work.

Comment 1 Harri 2016-11-23 09:27:12 UTC
Created attachment 12689 [details]
proposed patch
Comment 2 Wayne Davison 2016-11-23 17:25:01 UTC
The -N option is the letter that the crtimes patch uses for --crtimes, so I consider it already allocated.
One thing you can use is the popt (option parsing) library's support for aliases in both /etc/popt and ~/.popt -- e.g.:

rsync alias -N --numeric-ids
rsync alias -9 -ai --numeric-ids --chmod=o-rwx --omit-link-times

As long as you allocate your hosts with a consistent /etc/popt file, you can treat the option the same as if it were compiled into the executable.
Comment 3 Harri 2016-11-23 19:02:26 UTC
I have several objections:
* --numeric-ids is in wide use, while there is no --crtimes in rsync yet
* --crtimes is useful only on MacOS, --numeric-ids on all Unix-like platforms. The 
  probality for someone using --numeric-ids is much higher.
* There is no "n" in "crtimes". The letter was chosen just because it was free. 
  Another char could be used just as easy. But "N" == "numeric"? Thats easy to
Of course the --crtimes is a useful option for the MacOS command line users, but maybe Apple is dropping this feature in their new file system next week.
Comment 4 Harri 2016-11-23 19:31:08 UTC
PS: The popt feature is interesting, but I made this suggestion for the benefit of *all* rsync users. Not to mention that there would be no error message if the /etc/popt and ~/.popt files are missing and rsync would silently use --crtimes instead, mapping it to NOOP.

Please reconsider.