Batch mode creates huge diffs, bug(s)?

Matt Van Mater matt.vanmater at
Tue Mar 20 13:46:21 MDT 2012

I agree with your assessment somewhat Joachim and think you're following
the same line of reasoning as I am.  Some details I did not include in my
first post:

FOG/partimage does indeed only capture the used blocks in its images when
you select "ntfs - resizable".  So running a clean utility (e.g. writing
zeros to free space) will not make an impact because partimage does not
copy those blocks anyway.  However, the technique you describe would be
useful if I was using dd to capture the image.  I am unsure how large a
block size partimage uses when copying only the used blocks, so it takes
some trial and error to determine the appropriate block size within

Regarding the size of the delta, I had the same exact thought... I have a
hunch that the new file I downloaded was included in the middle of the
partimage image file and that rsync somehow was not able to associate the
last 6.9 GB after the "gap" as existing content.

Regarding the out of memory error, this occurs immediately after executing
the command, it does not run for a while and then fail.  It is one reason I
gave my VM a very large amount of RAM to compute the deltas; to ensure that
it did not run out due to a memory leak or something like that.  The
command dies so quickly I am confident that it couldn't even have a chance
to consume the entire 16 GB of RAM... it isn't running out of memory, but
seems to be some other memory allocation error.

I don't think the fuzzy option will help me, but it is on my list of
options to try.  Unfortunately any test I perform takes a long time to
complete due to the size of the image, so it will be a little while before
i can report the results of the test.

And in case someone asks "why don't you use rdiff if that seems to work for
you?", I would have to install that software on over 325 remote servers
over satellite.  I would MUCH prefer to not touch the remote servers and be
able to use the existing rsync software.


On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 3:10 PM, Joachim Otahal (privat) <Jou at>wrote:

>  Matt Van Mater schrieb:
>     1. image1 size in bytes: 17,062,442,700
>          2. image2 size in bytes: 16,993,256,652
> about 70 MB of change between a boot with a small program install. That is
> realistic. This also means: FOG/Partimage only captures the used sectors.
> IF you would capture ALL sectors (used and unused) the rsync difference
> would be those about 70 MB. You shuld run a "clean slack" utility before
> imaging though, like the microsoft precompact.exe (supplied with Virtual PC
> 2007).
> But here it looks like this: about the first half of the image contain
> sectors which were not changed between the reboots.
> Then, in the middle of the image, a few bytes (~70 MB) got added, and
> rsync cannot get a match across that 70 MB gap and therefore treats
> everything after that as "new".
>    1. Command:
>       1. rsync --block-size=512 –only-write-batch=img1toimg2_diff image2
>       image1
>    2. Error message:
>       1. ERROR: Out of memory in receive_sums [sender]
>       2. rsync error: error allocating core memory buffers (code 22) at
>       util.c(117) [sender=3.0.7]
> A block size below the cluster size doesn't make much sense, it only
> wastes your memory. Hence the out of memory problem, let your taskmanager
> run while doing that and you'll see. AFAIK rsync adjusts the block size
> dynamically, uses large blocks (several MB) if there is no change, and
> switches down to small blocks then there is a change to keep the amount of
> data to transfer low.
> What I cannot tell: A option to tell rsync to try harder to search for a
> match within one big file, across a larger desynced region. I only know and
> use "--fuzzy" which only helps on large amounts of files, and only makes
> sense on slow connections.
> Joachim
> --
> Please use reply-all for most replies to avoid omitting the mailing list.
> To unsubscribe or change options:
> Before posting, read:
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the rsync mailing list