Feature request: rsync of device content

Martin Scharrer mailinglists at madmarty.de
Sat Jun 11 19:54:41 GMT 2005

Hi list,

I often save the content of a hardware device (a harddisk partition with a not-so-stable non-unix OS on it) on a backup disk which is connected over the network.
Until now I used 'dd' to make a clone file of the device (dd if=/dev/hda2 of=disk.raw bs=2M) and then I copied or rsynced this file with the network copy.
It would be nice if rsync would also be able to synchronise the content of a device, i.e. handle the device like a regular file. Of course only if this is requested
with a special command line option.
I had a short look to the rsync source code and I think it could be done by adding some code at the same positions like for the -D/--devices option.
I tried a little hack by my own and got the client to read the device file but the server aborted with a error message (apologies for not providing a message).
To get this running someone needs more knowledge about rsync and about handling device files in C. I don't have much knowledge about either of this two,
but maybe it is just a short thing for someone with more knowledge in this.

Best regards,
Martin Scharrer

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