rsync - protocol version mismatch -- is your shell clean

This document (000021212) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4 for SAP


User is trying to copy a file or directory from source server to target server through the rsync utility, encountered with the error:

 protocol version mismatch -- is your shell clean?
(see the rsync man page for an explanation)
rsync error: protocol incompatibility (code 2) at compat.c(600) [sender=3.2.3]

Rsync package versions are different in source & target server, however protocol versions are same. 


  To diagnose the problem, run the below command.                                                                                                         
 ssh user@remoteip /bin/true > out.dat

Then look at out.dat file.If everything is working correctly then out.dat should be a zero length file. If you are getting the above error from rsync then you will probably, find that out.dat contains some text or data. 

 # cat out.dat

Check for all the hidden files in the user /home dir                                                                                                          
# find /home -type f -name ".*" -print
Alternative to above, use the below command.            
 # find /home -type f | xargs grep "sometext"
# grep -Ril "sometext" /home

  CD(change directory) to the user home directory & use the below command                                                                         
  # cat /home/<user>/.bashrc file.  

 If you see any "ECHO" statement written in the file .bashrc, comment(#) the line.


This is due to startup scripts .bashc or .bash_profile on remote shell facility producing unwanted garbage, which confuses rsync.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:000021212
  • Creation Date: 25-Sep-2023
  • Modified Date:25-Sep-2023
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications

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