--owner --group without root access?

tim.conway at philips.com tim.conway at philips.com
Thu Jan 3 05:30:24 EST 2002

rsync makes exact copies of filesystems.  It's a mirroring tool, not a 
backup tool.  It stores the information as a filesystem, and if it's not 
allowed to save group and user id on the filesystem, it doesn't.  Perhaps 
you need an archiving system?  maybe doing incremental backups?
That said, if you need to record who owns what, how about using the 
--write-batch/--read-batch (rsync+) features?  rsync it once just getting 
the files and their permissions.  Then, do it again with --write-batch, 
which will create a file containing instructions on how to fix the 
ownerships.  then, to restore, you can just rsync the files back, then 
apply the ownerships file with --read-batch.  Of course, the batch file 
will contain other changes made between the sync and the batch, but at a 
quiescent time, it should be minimal, and you'd probably want the changes 

Tim Conway
tim.conway at philips.com
Philips Semiconductor - Longmont TC
1880 Industrial Circle, Suite D
Longmont, CO 80501
Available via SameTime Connect within Philips, n9hmg on AIM
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"There are some who call me.... Tim?"

Philip Mak <pmak at animeglobe.com>
Sent by: rsync-admin at lists.samba.org
12/30/2001 02:24 AM

        To:     <rsync at lists.samba.org>
        cc:     (bcc: Tim Conway/LMT/SC/PHILIPS)
        Subject:        --owner --group without root access?

Is there a way to preserve the owner and group permissions without having
root access?

Well, this is not possible on the filesystem level of course, but what
about storing the owner/group information in a supplementary file that can
be read by rsync to later reconstruct this information?

I'm using rsync to perform a server-to-server backup of a machine's hard
drive. If the hard drive being backed up were to actually fail, I would
want to be able to restore all the files with their exact ownership

However, I think that needing to have root access on the backup server
should not be necessary to do this...

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