Saving ownership as non-root

Robert Siemer Robert.Siemer-rsync at
Wed Aug 16 19:37:04 GMT 2006

Hi Paul, hi everyone else!  (-:

First, thank you for your reply on my topic!

On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 04:24:57PM +0200, Paul Slootman wrote:
> On Wed 16 Aug 2006, Robert Siemer wrote:
> > 
> > Out of curiosity: What (backup) solutions do you use to let rsync store
> > device files and ownership permissions without root privileges?
> > 
> > I found out about "fakeroot" so far. Is there actually a practical use
> > for the "--super" option? I didn't find anything as fakeroot doesn't
> > need it...
> fakeroot is pretty debian-specific I believe; at least it originated
> there. At least, I suspect it will only work under glibc systems.

At least it needs the library preload mechanism...

> With fakeroot you start a "daemon" that tracks everything you do under
> it, and remembers things that are done that can only be done by root;
> later accesses are faked with the fake information so that it seems you
> can actually create device nodes etc.

I know what faekroot does, and initially I thougth about implementing a
slim FUSE filesystem to solve the problem. So, quite similary, the
ownership and device file information would go in a file apart while the
rest of file system operations would get done on a real one...

Later fakeroot came to my mind. - A different approach, but already
implemented... <-:

> Hence although it would look like you could use rsync to backup device
> nodes and so on via fakeroot, as soon as the fakeroot session is ended,
> the information is gone. There is some support for persistent storage of
> the fake info, but that's not perfect; I wouldn't rely on it for _my_
> backups.

Do you have any information of relevant open bugs in fakeroot? (Or what
is "not perfect"?)

Even if fakeroot blows up, I would lose only permission information and
stuff. That's not that a big deal for my backup. Having automated
network root access open in contrast is a big deal.

Anyway, the reasons for my first email were: Is somebody using something
different or even better? Who ever touched the "--super" switch and why?


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