rsync as a backup solution

John Madden jmadden at
Mon May 6 08:32:02 EST 2002

I'd suggest you proceed with caution.  I had implemented rsync as a backup
solution until I found out that it dies if you try to backup files that
get moved.  (So if a user moves/deletes a file while your backup is
running, it'll fail.)
It is, however, great for static files.

> I would like to get some opinions on a backup method using rsync.  I
> already have a script written to mirror the data over to a backup
> script from a cron that is run every night.  I've also been tempted to
> use the "--delete" option to keep everything up to date on the backup
> server.  However, this is probably a bad idea in the event my data is
> deleted from the "/home" directory (just as an example) before the cron
> runs.  When the cron runs and this isn't noticed before hand, the
> "/home" directory on the backup server will probably be whiped out as
> well, correct?  So, do all you that use rsync as a backup method not
> use the "--delete" option, or do you keep maybe a separate weekly
> backup safe somewhere else.  Of course, we do have our data center
> making tape backups of the backup server as well, but let's assume we
> didn't.  Thank you!

John Madden
UNIX Systems Engineer
Ivy Tech State College
jmadden at

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