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Users who store rsync backups may encounter an issue where the remote pruning process (deletion) does not complete within the system-allotted time limit. The maximum time limit is 300 seconds per transport process. This document offers solutions to troubleshoot the timeout problem.


The issues that this document lists would only occur with remote transports to an Rsync destination. You can only use the rsync transport type with incremental backups.

Transport error

Based on your iNotify settings, the system will send an email notification when it encounters a transport error. The email notification shows a preview of the transport error log and includes an attached copy of the transport error log.

The following are transport error code examples included in the transport error log.

cPanel & WHM version 76 and later

The system could not prune the "home/username/backups/2018-05-24" directory due to an error. Read the documentation for solutions to successfully prune the directory.

cPanel & WHM version 74 and earlier 

If the directory to be pruned "home/username/backups/2018-0524" contains incremental backups with large numbers of files, you may need to remove it manually.

The solutions shown in the next section aim to fix the issues that the previous errors denote. The directory name home/username/backups/2018-05-24 is an example name for the affected directory.


Several different situations may cause a transport error. You will have to diagnose your configuration to determine the appropriate solution.

The directory size is too large

The remote transport process may time out if it tries to prune a very large directory. Here are some options to solve this issue:

Manually delete the directory from the remote destination

The transport may produce an error if it is unable to prune the directory due to its size. You can manually delete the directory from the remote location to troubleshoot this error.

Use the rm command to delete the directory from the remote destination.

rm -rf home/username/backups/2018-05-24

Disable the account's backup

Some accounts may be too large to back up to a remote backup drive. You can disable an account's backup in WHM's Backup User Selection interface (WHM >> Home >> Backup >> Backup User Selection). You can also use the toggle_user_backup_state WHM API 1 function to disable the account's backup.

Change the backup type from incremental to compressed

If you are saving the backups for the large-sized account as an incremental backup type, you can change the backup type to compressed to use less disk space. 


Once you change this setting, you must also change the destination type in your backup configuration from Rsync to a destination that accepts compressed backup files.

You can change the backup type and the destination type in WHM's Backup User Selection interface (WHM >> Home >> Backup >> Backup User Selection). You can also use the following WHM API 1 functions to update your backup configuration:

The backup drive is too slow

The transport may produce an error if your remote backup drive is too slow to process the transport pruning within the system-allotted time (300 seconds). We recommend that you replace the existing remote backup drive with a faster-processing remote backup drive.

Network error

The transport may produce an error if there were issues with the network. If this was the case, you can run the backup transport process again manually when the network works properly.

To manually run a backup, run the following command as the root user:


Permission denied error

The transport may produce an error if the following conditions exist on the server:

  • A non-root user authenticates to your rsync backup destination. 
  • Files that the user does not possess write privileges to resides in a cPanel user's directory.

We recommend that you manually delete the files that the system could not remove from the remote destination's backup. 


You may need to allow write privileges to a file before you delete it. To do this, run the chmod +w file command, where file represents the file for which to update permissions.

Additional documentation