"Date Created" missing on files transferred from an ext3 file system to an NTFS file system

Simo Sorce ssorce at redhat.com
Fri Apr 25 16:55:57 GMT 2008

On Fri, 2008-04-25 at 18:40 +0200, Paul Slootman wrote:
> On Fri 25 Apr 2008, Kor Kiley wrote:
> > The rsync command I'm using is:
> >
> > rsync -auz --remove-source-files /m2/archives /nfs-destination
> >
> > The problem I'm having is that ~50% of the files that are moved are  
> > missing a creation date.  The main problem with this is that the backup  
> There is no such thing as a "creation date" in unix/linux.
> Commonly people misinterpret the "ctime" field as having something to do
> with "creation", but actually the C stands for "inode change".
> Hence the ctime will be updated if you change the owner of a file, or
> make a hard link to the file; anything that changes the information in
> the inode.
> Of course, I don't know what your combination of NFS over an NTFS disk
> does with such "unix" concepts...

FYI: While ext3 does not have a creation time field, NTFS does.
What the w2k3 NFS server does is hard to say given no sources are
available (Afaik).

In any case rsync is probably not to blame as the NFS layer will
probably mask any chance for rsync to deal with native NTFS creation
time even if it were willing to.

> When data is copied with rsync, the ctime field should contain the current
> timestamp. Not having any ctime would be surprising. It would help if
> you explained exactly why you think the "creation date" is missing, what
> tools have you used to determine this and what exactly do they show?
> > software always thinks that they are new versions and always backs them  
> > up during an incremental backup.  I also haven't found a good way of  
> "Backup software" should look at the modification time, not at the
> "creation date" or ctime. Is this "backup software" something different
> than rsync?

Windows has a real creation time in the metadata, so it is certainly
correct for native backup tools to look into that date too.


Simo Sorce * Red Hat, Inc * New York

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