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rsync with server on non-standard SSH port

Recently, I've moved some of my web sites over to a hosting service with WebHostingBuzz. WebHostingBuzz provides SSH access, except it uses a non-standard port (not port 22). So when I do rsync to transfer files, I had to use the following form:

rsync [OPTION]... rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/SRC [DEST]

Problem is, rsync kept returning the following error message:

rsync: server sent "SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_3.9p1" rather than greeting
rsync error: error starting client-server protocol (code 5) at main.c(1046)

I was stumped for a while. So I did a search for 'server sent "SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_3.9p1" rather than greeting' on Google. The only site it returned is a German page titled, "SELFHTML Forumsarchiv / 2007 / M�rz / rsync mit anderen Port". After a bit of guessing and BabelFish translation, I figured out that you have to specify the remote shell with the "-e" switch. So the final command that worked is

rsync [OPTION] -e "ssh -p PORT" ... [USER@]HOST:SRC [DEST]

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 22 Aug 2007 01:46:25 +0000

thanks! didn't find the answer on the man also

Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:26:59 +0400

Thank you, I'd encountered the same issue and got the issue resolved follow the approach mentioned

Weiqiang Bu
Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:51:05 +0400

Thank you for posting this! They should really add this to the man, its still not there in 2017...

Adam S.
Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:29:25 -0700

Amazing how something posted over a decade ago is still so useful today! It worked flawlessly from me... in 2018!

Thanks so much!

Gwyneth Llewelyn
Fri, 28 Dec 2018 07:41:21 -0800

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