Feature I'd love to see: --move-dest

David Overton david at overtons.id.au
Mon Dec 8 22:34:53 GMT 2008


I'm curious as to why you need a new option rather than just using
--link-dest.  Both --link-dest and --copy-dest already allow the "two
very common restor scenarios" that you mention and --link-dest uses
hardly any extra disk space than your --move-dest suggestion.  You
also get the added advantage that each previous backup continues to
look like a full "snapshot".


2008/12/9 Josh Hanson <JoshHanson at capriomgt.com>:
> Looking over rsync's --compare-dest, --copy-dest, and --link-dest
> options, there's one thing I really wish I could do, and I've been
> looking for a few years now for a program that could do it: Instead of
> copying or hard-linking from the compare directory to the target
> directory, I'd like to move the files.
> That is, whenever the file already exists in the compare directory, it
> is moved forward into the target directory; but if the existing file is
> different or doesn't exist, then a new file is made in the target
> directory.
> The result would be that, after several backups (each to a new
> directory, perhaps named with the current date) the most recent
> directory would be a snapshot of the source, and each previous directory
> would have previous versions of files or copies of deleted files. (This
> is effectively the opposite result of --compare-dest, which gives you a
> snapshot of the first version of the files, with each successive
> directory storing only the changed files.) This makes two very common
> restore scenarios very simple: restoring the entire directory tree to
> the most recent version after a drive failure, and restoring a previous
> version of a single file after it was accidentally over-written, even if
> the modified version has since been backed up.
> I looked over the rsync source to see if I could add this functionality
> myself, but I'm really not a very good programmer and it's definitely
> beyond me. To someone familiar with the source, however, I have to
> imagine it would be a fairly straightforward feature to add... just add
> replace the copy operation in --copy-dest or the link operation in
> --link-dest with a move operation.
> -- Josh
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