Is there any way to restore/create hardlinks lost in incremental backups?

Dan Stromberg drsalists at
Thu Dec 10 18:43:58 UTC 2020


Is it possible that, if day4 is consuming too much space, that day3 was an
incomplete backup?

The rsync wrapper I wrote goes to a little trouble to make sure that
incomplete backups aren't allowed.  It's called Backup.rsync, and can be
found at:
It does this by mv'ing backups to a magic name scheme only after they fully
finish, to distinguish them from partial backups.  If a backup is found
that doesn't have that magic name scheme, it is assumed to be partia, and
is reused as the starting point for the next snapshot.

Feel free to use it, or raid it for ideas.


On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 9:29 AM Chris Green via rsync <rsync at>

> I run a simple self written incremental backup system using rsync's
> --link-dest option.
> Occasionally, because I've moved things around or because I've done
> something else that breaks things, the hard links aren't created as
> they should be and I get a very space consuming backup increment.
> Is there any easy way that one can restore hard links in the *middle*
> of a series?  For example say I have:-
>     day1/pictures
>     day2/pictures
>     day3/pictures
>     day4/pictures
>     day5/pictures
> and I notice that day4/pictures is using as much space as
> day1/pictures but all the others are relatively small, i.e.
> day2 day3 and day5 have correctly hard linked to the previous day but
> day4 hasn't.
> It needs a tool that can scan day4, check a file is identical with the
> one in day3 then hardlink it without losing the link from day5.
> There's jdupes but that does lose the link from day5 so you'd have to
> apply it to all the directories after the one that's lost the links.
> --
> Chris Green
> ·
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