Any work-around for very large number of files yet?

jw schultz jw at
Mon Oct 21 21:28:01 EST 2002

On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 09:37:45AM -0500, Crowder, Mark wrote:
> Yes, I've read the FAQ, just hoping for a boon...
> I'm in the process of relocating a large amount of data from one nfs server
> to another (Network Appliance filers).  The process I've been using is to
> nfs mount both source and destination to a server (solaris8) and simply use
> rsync -a /source/ /dest .   It works great except for the few that have > 10
> million files.   On these I get the following:
> ERROR: out of memory in make_file
> rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at util.c(232)
> It takes days to resync these after the cutover with tar, rather than the
> few hours it would take with rsync -- this is making for some angry users.
> If anyone has a work-around, I'd very much appreciate it.

Sorry.  If you want to use rsync you'll need to break the
job up into manageable pieces.

If, and only if, mod_times reflect updates (most likely) you
will get better performance in this particular case using
find|cpio.  After it uses the meta-data to pick candidates
rsync will read both the source and destination files to
generate the checksums.  This means that your changed files
will be pulled in their entirety across the network twice
before even starting to copy them.  --whole-file will
disable that part.  Rsync is at a severe disadvantage when
running on nfs mounts; nfs->nfs is even worse.

In the past i found that using find was quite good for this.
Use touch to create a file with a mod_time just before you
started the last sync.  Then from inside $src run
	find .  -newer $touchfile -print|cpio -pdm $dest
Without the -u option to cpio it will skip (and warn about)
any files where the mod_dates haven't change but that is
faster than transferring the file.

The use of the touchfile is, in my opinion, bettern than
-mtime and related options because it can have been created
as part of the earlier cycle and it is less prone to

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

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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