Rsync, subversion and directories

Matt McCutchen hashproduct at
Sun Nov 13 01:43:21 GMT 2005

On Fri, 2005-11-11 at 16:20 +1100, Andrew Crouch wrote:
> I'm attempting to build a backup system using rsync and subversion.
> [...]

Are you sure you want to be using Subversion and not some other

If I understand correctly, during each backup, you rsync an ordinary
file tree into a Subversion working copy and then commit the working
copy to the repository.  The trouble with this arrangement is that
Subversion almost always needs to be notified when files in a working
copy are created, moved, or deleted (with `svn add', `svn move', and
similar) in order for committing to work correctly.  I imagine you have
an automated script that runs some `svn ___' commands to add and remove
files from version control, but deletion of directories is probably one
of several cases that it cannot handle.  (Not to mention, what happens
if a Subversion working copy is among the things you are backing up?)

A common incremental backup package such as rsnapshot or rdiff-backup
would probably do a better job of keeping a "history" than Subversion.
Either of these tools will let you send the data from the source machine
to a repository of incremental backups in one step instead of having to
move it to the backup machine and then "check it in" somehow.
Matt McCutchen, ``hashproduct''
hashproduct at --

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