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Linux rsync password prompt slow to appear - result in timeout

I am having a weird problem rsync'ing between two CentOS 5 linux servers.  This results in what appears to be a timeout.

[root@machineA ~]# rsync -vt root@machineBip:/root/somefile.txt ./

------long pause occurs here, about 30 seconds

root@machineBip's password:
Connection closed by machinebip
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [receiver]
rsync error: unexplained error (code 255) at io.c(600) [receiver=3.0.6]
[root@machineA ~]#

What could be causing this problem?

Thank you,

Brian
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noci

Did you check that any forward & reverse DNS name lookups work, and do it fast.
same for validation of passwords acros a network in case NIS/LDAP is used?

And did you check for packet loss, which can create a lot of timeout's.
(Also look for automatic switch port setup of below 1Gbps links, they might miscommunicate half/full duplex creating this kind of packet loss.
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Adrian Dobrota
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VSE, thanks for accepting my answer.
Could you please give us some feedback about what worked/what didn't/what the problem was? This way, others with similar problems browsing this forum will find it easier to diagnose.
Thank you