grsync (rsync) usage question

Smoot Carl-Mitchell smoot at
Sun Sep 30 23:02:34 UTC 2007

On Sun, 2007-09-30 at 13:02 -0500, Default User wrote:

> Currently I use partimage to make full system backups.  That's fine to
> restore an entire system to its condition at the time of the last
> backup, say in case of a catastrophic hard drive failure.  
> But any changes since the last backup are of course lost, and with
> partimage, I can't restore just a file or part of a filesystem, I can
> only restore entire partitions.  
> So I was wondering if rsync could be used to do a full backup of a live,
> running filesystem, from within that filesystem (Or does that need to be
> done from outside the filesystem, say from a rescue "live cd"). 

You can use rsync to make a full image of a filesystem. Of course on a
live system, you may have some inconsistencies with open files, etc. 

> Or would I still have to use both partimage for full partition restores,
> and rsync for partial filesystem restores and incremental backups?  

I think you can set up a system with rsync to do full backups.  An
advantage, of course, is rsync only copies updates after you do an
initial copy. You might also take a look at the --backup and --back-dir
rsync arguments. They make backup copies of files which changed.
Combined with pdumpfs or glastree, it makes for a handy nearline backup
Smoot Carl-Mitchell
System/Network Architect
email: smoot at
cell: +1 602 421 9005
home: +1 480 922 7313

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