Rclone creating tens of thousands of empty directories

What is the problem you are having with rclone?

I have a huge tree with many tens of thousands of files spread over a few tens of thousands of directories. I want to copy/sync certain files (hundreds) from local to two remotes (one is an S3, the other a pcloud). The files to copy are all of the form "*Data.rar" with the * part a short string of [a-z0-9], ie "fwdsData.rar". These files are spread all over the place.

When I test this with this command line:
rclone ls /local/path1 --include "*Data.rar"
I get a tidy listing of those files and this looks good. However, when I run
rclone copy/sync /local/path1 /local/path2 --include "*Data.rar"
I get a tree in /local/path2 with those hundreds of *Data.rar files in their respective locations but also with a few tens of thousands of empty directories (all those w/o a "*Data.rar" file). I know that I can probably remove those with the rmdirs command but it seems less than ideal to create all those empty directories in the first place. Caveat: I have not yet tried to copy those files to a "real" remote.

I've checked the various filter possibilities and found nothing to simply skip creating empty directories (filtering seems to work with files only?). There have been a few discussions here about empty directories but I haven't seen anything that would help with this.

Run the command 'rclone version' and share the full output of the command.

1/ram/testrc>rclone version
rclone v1.66.0
- os/version: debian 12.5 (64 bit)
- os/kernel: 6.1.0-18-amd64 (x86_64)
- os/type: linux
- os/arch: amd64
- go/version: go1.22.1
- go/linking: static
- go/tags: none

welcome to the forum,

this is a known bug/issue/feature that broke backwards compatibility, and will be fixed in the next release of rclone.
for now, there are at least three workarounds.

  1. use last stable, v1.65.2 - this is what i have chosen to do.
  2. try --no-update-dir-modtime
  3. try the beta

Thanks for the quick answer.

a known bug/issue/feature

TBH to me that feels more like a bug than a feature :-/ As to the remedies:

  1. This works.
  2. No change w/ 1.66.0, so not sure what it does.
  3. Haven't tried as 1.65.2 seems to be working.

Again thanks.