rsync's internal "virtual file system"

jw schultz jw at
Sat Nov 23 23:43:00 EST 2002

On Sat, Nov 23, 2002 at 10:03:35AM -0800, Ben Escoto wrote:
> Hi, I vaguely remember some talk on this list of a virtual file system
> of some sort for rsync.  The goal was to handle cases where the file
> system on the original side carried information (permissions,
> ownership, special file types?) which couldn't be recorded directly
> on the receiving side.
>     I think the proposal was to record as much of this information as
> possible in the receiving side's file system, and record the rest in,
> I suppose, special extra files on the receiving end.
>     So, what would the format of these files be?  For instance, it
> seems that the speed gains from fixed record lengths wouldn't outweigh
> the loss of flexibility.  Would XML be overkill?  Thanks for any
> insight.

I also recall some vague talk of the sort.

I suspect that XML might be excessive but not by much if
simple storage is all that is needed.  The issues would be
what to name the file(s) -- it would have to have some sort
of magic name.  Do we create one extension file per real
file (as needed), one per directory, or one for the whole
tree.  If one per tree, how do you deal with subtree
transfers?  If the extension file is for many files you may
want a way to accelerate access which might be difficult to
deal with in XML.  Finally, you will need to deal with
blobs, the necessitated coding of which may limit the value
of text files.

	J.W. Schultz            Pegasystems Technologies
	email address:		jw at

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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