Preserving ext2-4 attributes

Alan Stern stern at
Tue Dec 17 15:19:53 UTC 2019

On Tue, 17 Dec 2019, Ciprian Dorin Craciun wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 7:44 PM Alan Stern via rsync
> <rsync at> wrote:
> > What is the reason for this behavior?  Is there any way for rsync to
> > preserve these attributes?  If not, how can rsync be used to make a
> > reliable complete system backup?

> Also, I don't know of any usage of such attributes.  (Are you
> encountering an actual real-world use-case?)

No, this was a theoretical question (thank goodness).

I can easily understand that dealing with filesystem-specific
attributes might be very difficult.  They are going to be different for
different kinds of filesystems, and some of them could make rsync's job
a lot harder (for instance, if rsync needs to update an immutable

Still, it was surprising to see that rsync apparently ignores the 
subject altogether.

Alan Stern

> In fact I'm glad that `rsync` doesn't touch the immutable attribute,
> as such if I know that a certain folder was not touched, (and given
> that after a backup I always mark the backup files as immutable), it
> can serve as a fail-safe.
> Ciprian.

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