Xattr on FreeBSD ... Good Luck ?

Wesley W. Terpstra wesley at terpstra.ca
Thu Nov 2 11:22:54 GMT 2006

On Nov 2, 2006, at 5:10 AM, Ensel Sharon wrote:
> All I know is, I have a FreeBSD backup server, and some dude in  
> creative
> wants to rsync his stuff up and _maintain_ the fancy little OSX  
> meta-data,
> etc.
> So all I need to know are:
> 1. Is this even my problem ?  Can I just stay at 2.6.6 and this is all
> just a client side patch on his end ?

There are two ways to backup osx meta-data to a non-osx machine with  

1. Use the absolute latest official rsync + acl and xattr patches.  
That means 2.6.9 whenever it comes out, or the version in CVS. This  
has to be upgraded on both the mac and on FreeBSD. The downside here  
is that you can't read the meta-data back via nfs/samba. If the mac  
only reads/writes the backup via rsync, then this doesn't matter.

=> upgrade mac+freebsd to 2.6.9+xattr patch once we fix it
=> no strange files created under freebsd
=> mac should not read the data via nfs/samba, only rsync

2. Hack apple's rsync. Apple changed rsync in Tiger (10.4) to support  
backing up meta-data. Unfortunately, their version is very buggy.  
There are patches that fix this, and I have an additional patch on  
top of this which makes it possible to use this rsync with a normal  
linux/bsd rsync server. In this case you would only need to change  
the rsync on the mac, as the mac puts the meta-data into special  
'appledouble' files.

=> screw with mac only (a special 'apple' 2.6.3)
=> creates ._filename files to hold meta-data
=> mac can read it via nfs/samaba as well as rsync

I can't really recommend either approach. #2 sounds superficially  
better, and if you need samba/nfs access, it's your only option.  
However, we're talking about using a completely tweaked rsync on the  
mac that no one will support. Route #1 is likely to become more  
'stable' in the future.

> 2. If it _is my problem_, does 2.6.9 with acls and xattr solve  
> this, or do
> I need to follow you down this road of "not sure if it works on  
> freebsd
> yet" ?

At the moment either route you go will require you to run alpha  

> Again, I apologize for my cluelessness and for opening this can of  
> worms -
> I just wonder what the shortest path from A to B is ...

There is no short path.
Backing up a mac properly to a non-mac is practically impossible.

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