open files

Jim Salter jim at
Fri Feb 20 05:29:52 GMT 2004


Another way of phrasing that would be to say "If your OS prevents open 
files from being accessed normally, you need to deal with that at the OS 

And in case you were wondering, yes, Windows is a "brain-damaged" OS in 
that regard (and many others, but I digress).  Under Windows, rsync will 
successfully back up any file which you could make a regular copy of 
using a simple drag-and-drop, but will fail to back up any file you 
could not make a copy of using a simple drag-and-drop.  This means that 
enormous chunks of your system directory and various program directories 
*will not* successfully backup using rsync unless you've done something 
special and non-rsync-related to Windows itself to make it quit behaving 
badly in that respect.

I don't currently know of any good way to test which files are only 
write-locked during use and which files are completely locked during use 
other than by just trying a copy operation and seeing if it works.

If that behavior doesn't suit you, your options are basically 1. switch 
to an OS that allows the root user to have root access, 2. spend $500 or 
more for a commercial backup utility that gets around Windows' odd 
file-locking behavior, or 3. make Microsoft redesign their OS.

Option 1 seemed like the easiest and most reliable to implement on my 
end, but YMMV. :)

> On Thu, Feb 19, 2004 at 07:40:14PM -0800, Tarun Karra wrote:
>>hi guyz,
>>One simple question. What does rsync do when it encounters open files.
>>Do we have to use open file manager(like st bernard) to back up open files or is there any open source open file manager or can rsync backup open files by itself.
> Rsync is a POSIX/SUS compliant utility.  It doesn't know
> from open files.  I assume you are speaking from the context
> of some brain-damaged single-user OS that doesn't allow
> files to be opened by multiple processes simultaniously.

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