> I did some investigation, but forgot to update the bug report. Based on
> priors, I was not expecting to get a reply.
Yeah, sometimes it's hard to keep up with the bug reports, thanks for
not giving up!
> The problem is that I'm connecting to a remote VPS, which is an OpenVZ
> VM, and currently runs a badly outdated version of Debian, Debian 8
> (jessie). It was running the default version of rsync for that release
> (3.1.1-3+deb8u2), which appears to be too old to do the handshake that
> rsync expects for compression.
Wow, that is quite outdated yes, at this point the only support there
is for Jessie is the paid one by the Debian LTS project.
Since you're a customer, I would kindly suggest cutting a ticket to
them, asking for an updated release.
> However, as an error message, this really sucked. Unless the rsync
> maintainers consider compatibility with older rsync versions not worth
> bothering with, it would be good to have a more intelligible error
> message. But I don't know if it is worth trying to follow up with the
> rsync project.
My experience with rsync upstream is that they would improve the error
message if possible, so it might be worth reporting it.
> I managed to backport the current version of rsync to Debian 8 on the
> OpenVZ VPS, and the error went away. Other workarounds I tried (like
> --compress-choice) all failed, because the rsync version seemed to be
> too old.
Happy to know your workaround fixed the issue, I always try to upload
an updated rsync release to the backports repository as well, but that
didn't happen with Jessie
By looking at these, it seems like your VPS provider is not using ELTS
so it's possible they're not updating their images for more than a
year now. However, this is just a guess, I suggest contacting them and
explaining your concerns with outdated images.
> If you don't think it's worth following up upstream regarding the
> quality of their error messages, you can close this bug report.
I think it's worth it, but I will let this up for you, so I'm
resolving this bug report.