Unexpected timeout in rsync - SOLVED

John Hunt john.rsync at yoredale.uklinux.net
Fri Jan 23 17:32:26 GMT 2004

On Tuesday 13 Jan 2004 18:50, John Hunt wrote:
> Hi
> I am having trouble with intermittent timeouts when backing up a largish
> set of files from /usr using rsync. Approx 125,000 files, 2GB. Backup is to
> same machine, from a partition on hda to one on hdb.  I am using ribs 2.1
> (slightly modified to ignore rsync error 23), run with nice -n 5 via cron.
> (for ribs visit http://rustyparts.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=9 )
> (snip)

I am fairly confident I have found the cause. It was my fault, not rsync's :-(

I run gimps (Mersenne prime search) in the background at lowest priority. 
Except that during a system upgrade last month I made an error with the gimps 
startup (in rc.local) with result that it was running at priority higher than 
my cron jobs.  Compounded by me allowing gimps to use a large fraction of 
physical memory overnight if it wants to - though whether it actually does is 
unclear. I had forgotten that the cron rsync jobs also run overnight.

rsync was almost certainly reporting a genuine timeout caused by it being 
starved of CPU time and possibly memory.

I run the large rsync backup only once a week, so too soon to be sure the 
problem is resolved. However this week's backup ran ok via cron for the first 
time so looks promising.

John Hunt
Stokesley, N Yorks, UK
URL: http://www.yoredale.uklinux.net/

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