meta data stored in separate file?

Joe Pruett joey at
Tue Aug 9 19:52:43 GMT 2005

i found a couple messages in the archives relating to backups vs. 
distribution and ownership issues without root privs that kinda touched on 
the idea of storing meta info (ownership, modes, acls) in a separate file.  
has anyone else looked at storing meta data in a side file of some sort?  
it seems that it could be done all on the client side.  send over files 
with totally plain meta info and then send another file with text 
containing the actual meta data.

the reason i'm looking at this is to use rsync as a backup system for 
"foreign" systems.  ones that don't share uid space (or even os 
similarity) to the central server.  basically use ssh with a non-root 
keypair so that data can be read/written to each servers backup space.  by 
using separate meta files, we can handle windows or other systems that 
might have acls or permissions flags that don't match with unix.

i realize that this is normally what tar/cpio/dump/etc would be used for, 
but rsync has the nice ability to use hardlinks to create pseudo snapshot 
backups that make it easy to retrieve things, plus the inherent speedup 
from the rsync algorithm.

any input from the list about this idea?

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