[Samba] Circular links and backups

Adam Williams awilliam at mdah.state.ms.us
Fri Jan 18 06:32:57 GMT 2008

how are you backing up?  with tar?  use --exclude /etc/apache/conf

also you should backup /var/lib/samba and /var/cache/samba

Scott Gifford wrote:
> Hello,
> I ran into an interesting problem earlier today.  I have a Unix
> machine I maintain in a largely Windows shop.  They use Windows Backup
> for their backups, and so I created a readonly share of the entire
> filesystem with one user, "backup", who is an admin user.  This lets
> them back up the entire Unix machine by attaching to the "backup"
> share, but nothing can be changed.  So far so good.
> I'm backing up just essential files on the system, "/etc", "/home",
> and "/usr/local".  We started running the backup, and it first
> estimated 3GB, which is about right.  As it ran, though, it kept
> increasing its estimate; we stopped it at about 20GB.  Closer
> inspection showed that it was confused by circular links to
> directories.
> The default Apache configuration on our system has a circular link,
> with "/etc/apache/conf" -> "/etc/apache".  I believe this is for
> compatibility, since Apache configuration files used to be in
> "/etc/apache/conf", but that's beside the point.  This is installed by
> the OS, so I'm reluctant to remove it, since other packages could
> depend on it being present.
> The problem was that circular link.  Samba would resolve the symlink
> for the client, and so the client would recurse into a directory it
> was already in, and so just keep backing up forever.
> I looked at disabling symlinks, but the docs said this will return
> errors when they are read.  I suspect this would upset the backup
> software.
> Does anybody have a suggestion for dealing with this?
> Thanks,
> ---Scott.

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