Backup Fails with Odd Error

My (SSH protocal based) backup runs nicely till it’s time to transfer the data to the backup server.

Then it fails with:
upload failed!’s password: scp: ambiguous target

The file I’m trying to save it to is:

and I have the “Do strftime-style time substitutions on file or directory name” box checked.

Does anyone know what might cause the error?


I also have this error. It just started last night. It has never been a issue before, but here I am unable to do backups!


Doing a little Googling, it looks like a common cause of that is a file or folder that has a space in it.

Is there by chance a space in the destination directory for your backups?


Thats what I found as well, but my backup folder has no spaces in it, or its parent folders. It used to work fine, but as of 3 days ago this error started to show up. Here is the folder path I use:


I’m not sure this will work, but it might help to turn on Webmin’s Debug Logging, and hope it will record the exact SCP command it tries to execute. That might give a hint as to why it fails with the odd error message.

Found the cause when it decided to start working randomly, seems to be a webmin error

When using variables in the name, when %e is like the first, it seems to insert a space " 1" instead of “1” or “01” and this seems to break it. Where would I submit this error?

Yeah, you’d want to use %d rather than %e, as %e puts a space in the name, as you saw.

Virtualmin probably shouldn’t allow the %e option to be used.

I’ll talk to Jamie about the best way to handle that in the future, but using %d would be my recommendation in the meantime.