Memory consumption for rsync -axv --delete

Kevin Korb kmk at
Fri Mar 25 15:16:47 UTC 2016

Hash: SHA1

If you were using --link-dest to make multiple backups you wouldn't
need --delete because the target is always a new empty directory (with
- --link-dest pointing to the previous backup run).

So, you get the benefit of having multiple backups to restore from and
rsync doesn't have to --delete.  When you run low on space you just rm
- -rf some old backups (takes a while but doesn't need much RAM).

On 03/25/2016 05:54 AM, John Long wrote:
> Hi,
> I have been using rsync for many years and never had any kind of
> problem. Lately I am running out of RAM trying to do an incremental
> backup to a box that only has 2G of RAM. The entire directory
> structure I'm mirroring is about 200G of files. A minority of
> subdirectories have many files.
> Is there a way to do an incremental backup with --delete option
> that does not use as much memory? Is there a way to tell rsync to
> use a tempfile instead of RAM for keeping tracking of whatever it
> does?
> And would it be useful to add ignores for the subdirectories I know
> have many files and back them up separately? Is --delete safe to
> use in this case, as in does --delete with --ignore somedir/ not
> delete files in other target dirs that are not in the ignore path?
> Thanks,
> /jl

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