using rsync on files that are being written to

Wayne Davison wayned at
Tue Jun 21 17:01:17 GMT 2005

On Thu, Jun 16, 2005 at 01:35:32PM -0600, lamad wrote:
> I know people who shutdown the services on their *nix box before
> backing up with rsync.  this is to avoid accidentily backing up files
> that are being written to, which might result in a corrupt backup of
> that file.
> is this even a concern?  if it is, what methods are available for a
> small shop to schedule regular backups but still maintain uptime?

This depends on what you're backing up -- things like a database might
either have an incomplete on-disk image of the current state, or they
might update in the middle of the backup, giving you an inconsistent set
of data.

Solutions are also specific to the thing being backed-up, but typically
fall into two categories:  (1) ask the service to dump all its data and
to temporarily lock any changes, unlocking after the backup completes,
or (2) ask the service to create a local backup of its data, and when
that is done, backup that to the remote system.


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