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Protect Container failed, No such file or directory error during mkreplica -import

Technote (troubleshooting)


This technote explains why attempts to import an IBM Rational ClearCase MultiSite replica creation packet results in the error, Vob server operation "Protect Container" failed., and provides instructions to resolve the problem.


Attempts to import a replica creation packet results in the following error:

multitool: Error: Vob server operation "Protect Container" failed.
Additional information may be available in the vob_log on host "vobserver"
multitool: Error: Unable to change permissions of "\s\sdft\2\3e\2-fadd3b543df111d38acd006008b045ef-or":
 No such file or directory.
multitool: Warning: There were errors setting protections during the replica import. You should examine the errors carefully to determine whether the replica created can be used.
multitool: Error: Unable to create VOB replica: No such file or directory


This error indicates missing source containers at the exporting replica.

When the database is dumped during the replica creation operation, no checking is done for missing source containers, thus, although the source container is referenced in the database, it does not get included in the replica creation packet.

The import operation attempts to set the protections on the source files based on the preserve or npreserve options. Since the source files do not exist, the operation fails.

Diagnosing the problem

Use the checkvob command at the exporting site to validate the health of the source containers of that VOB.


cleartool checkvob -data -pool <vob-stg-path>

For more information, review the ClearCase Information Center on the topic of checkvob

Note: The name of the source file from the error can also be used as a quick check to find if the source file is actually missing.

To find the affected element at the export site take the value between the dashes and use that in a cleartool describe or cleartool dump.



cleartool describe -long oid:fadd3b543df111d38acd006008b045ef

cleartool dump -long oid:fadd3b543df111d38acd006008b045ef

This should help determine where ClearCase expects the source container to be on the exporting site and that value can be used to verify if it is missing.

Special Case Note: Where the container name is "..bogus-temporary-relocate-container.."

In this case the container WILL be missing at the export site, and you should definitely proceed with "mkreplica -import -ignoreprot"

Resolving the problem

Fix the problem at the export site and recreate a new replica which contains the correct data.

    • Remove the VOB (cleartool rmvob) at the importing site
    • Remove the replica (multitool rmreplica) at the exporting site
    • Fix the container problem(s) at the exporting site (Replace the source container from sibling replica or Backup and run cleartool checkvob -fix).
      • Technote 1221900 - Replacing a source container in a replicated VOB from a container in a sibling replica
      • Technote 1221899 - Replacing a source container from backup in a replicated VOB
    • Recreate the replica.

If you wish to import the replica regardless of the container issue, use the -ignoreprot option to bypass this error and complete the replica creation process.

Note: ignoreprot is generally used when the mkreplica –import fails because the preserve option was used and the identity of the user importing the packet does not have rights to create source container files with particular groups.

See the mkreplica -ign/oreprot option in the ClearCase Information Center for additional information about this option.

Note: If the replica is imported using this method, you will need to repair the containers at each affected replica using the technotes listed previously.


Related information

Protect Container failed error using -preserve

Document information

More support for: Rational ClearCase
Replica Creation

Software version: 7.0,,,,,,,,, 7.0.1,,,,,,,, 7.1,,, 7.1.1, 2003.06.00, 2003.06.16

Operating system(s): AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Reference #: 1151169

Modified date: 29 October 2010