Adding support for versioned files in rsync

Jason M. Felice jfelice at
Tue Oct 14 05:43:35 EST 2003

On Mon, Oct 13, 2003 at 10:44:52AM -0700, jw schultz wrote:
> Try dirvish or one of the other backup systems already out
> there.

dirvish looks interesting.  One of the requirements that I now realize I
didn't write into the proposal was the ability to store only a single
copy of duplicate files... duplicate as determined by file contents, not
naming or inode or anything.  (Rationale: will likely need to back up
large numbers of clients with lots of files in common.)

Dirvish does not appear to have that capability, but it *does* appear to
solve the right problem.  Extending Dirvish to make hard links from the
image into a directory tree based on SHA1 hash might work to implement

> Ever hear of vfs?  I have considered pluggability and might
> consider it for the next version of rsync (3.x or perhaps 2.6)

Sounds interesting.  I remember the VFS from mc, and there is now some
gnome-vfs stuff.  I'm not sure if you are referring to one of these or
something else.  It definitely sounds like something to investigate,
could you send a link?

> Forget it.  Version awareness will just bog things down.
> They did it on VMS and it has mainly served to be a
> full-employment feature for admins.  If you want to use
> version aware filesystems fine, rsync doesn't need to be
> aware of that.  At most rsync might want to be able to
> detect renames or, perhaps through plugin, be able to select
> whether to see all versions with versioning disabled or just
> latest.

I'm pondering these ideas of plugins plus the ideas Andy put in his
post.  I might be able to make the system out of it with less
hacking-and-slashing in code.

> Forgive me if i have abused and mocked your proposal.

I invited it in the first paragraphs of my post <g>

> You have outlined an ambitious project.  Some of the ideas have
> merit.  One or two would be nice to see in rsync.  The rsync
> team are a few unpaid volunteers.  It sounds to me like you
> propose creating a monstrosity out of rsync for the benefit
> of one piece of vaporware.  Doing so on the backs of unpaid
> volunteers rankles as would hijacking rsync.

I'm not trying to force patches on you guys (not that I even could).
I basically have to solve a problem for a client and would like to do so
in a way that I can most benefit the rsync project (or another project
if rsync isn't the "right" project).  You seem to be unduly afraid that I
have some sort of power here, and really all I can do is take my marbles and
go home.  Well, perhaps I could spam you with awful patches, too ;-)

 Jason M. Felice
 Cronosys, LLC <>
 216.221.4600 x302

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