Docs: detecting metadata changes

Matthias Schniedermeyer ms at
Tue Feb 4 04:36:47 MST 2014

On 04.02.2014 12:56, Jori Mantysalo wrote:
> I just tested our backup system, that is done with rsync. When I
> changed metadata of file --- for example permissions --- rsync
> notices change and copies permissions to backup. However, our
> archiving does not work. So I can roll back to older contents of a
> file but not to older permissions, owner/group information etc.
> Several web pages claim that rsync does not detect metadata changes
> at all. See for example
> I think that rsync FAQ or other documentation should cover this.
> Difference between mtime and ctime might not be that clear to all.
> Also there could be some note about "cp -u", because it is first
> thing to come in mind if somebody is setting up archiving backups.

rsync cares about permissions when you tell it to care about 
permissions. As you didn't provide an example of your commandline 
(and/or daemon-config) i can only assume that you didn't use the 
necessary option.

The commandline-options -p/--perms is for telling rsync to care about 
permissions. The common -a/--archive includes it.

The other thing: By default rsync does pure permission changes without 
telling you that it did something (Assuming a singular -v). If you want 
to see such things, you have to use -i/--itemize-changes.



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