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Thread: Running rsync with sudo ?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Re: Running rsync with sudo ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cogset View Post
    is this a good idea? Are there any issues in running rsync as super user,and should I edit my --exclude list accordingly?
    System backups should be done as root.

    [on Ubuntu 12.04] I do backups with rsnapshot, which is a Perl script that uses rsync. I back up these directories and exclude everything else:
    /bin, /boot, /etc, /home, /lib, /lib64, /opt, /root, /sbin, /selinux, /srv, /ubiquity-apt-clone, /usr, /var

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Re: Running rsync with sudo ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    However, I can't help asking why you get so much disk activity if rsync is run daily (as would be the case with a cron job)? The beauty of rsync is that it syncs only changed files. My own experience is that it runs a disk-intensive sync the first time, and is relatively quick and easy thereafter, unless you have massive amounts of changed files each day. Therefore, if you schedule the sync to occur every day at, say, lunchtime, it should be hardly noticeable.
    That's an interesting point:admittedly,I'm lazy about backups (I know...),so I'm not backing up the entire system daily (other stuff,as Firefox profile and email,I backup separately almost daily)-still,I find that full system backups after say a week or more take at least 15-20 mins,and that is excluding some virtual machines that I have installed,because I've found that those take ages.

    Maybe I'm just overcautious,but do you people still use your computer whilst a backup process is running? Is that safe?
    I close all other applications when running rsync,I'm not comfortable with using the system whilst the disk is so busy-maybe I just have a noisy/slow disk.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Running rsync with sudo ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cogset View Post
    ...full system backups after say a week or more take at least 15-20 mins
    This won't be the case if you back up daily, which, I gather, is the point with rsync running as a cron job.
    ...that is excluding some virtual machines that I have installed,because I've found that those take ages.
    You may wish to exclude VMs from your rsync backups altogether and use a different backup strategy for them. The reason for this is that VMs are basically one big file, so even the act of just booting them up, without any changes to the VM OS itself counts as a "changed" file to rsync. I run close to 2 dozen VMs (I like to tinker), so cannot possibly include them in scheduled backups without going crazy. VMs that can be easily reinstalled (Linux, BSD, Unix) are non-issues so I don't back them up. My Windows VMs are backed up manually once every six months. The contents within are backed up much more frequently on a schedule, but using Windows backup software to an external file server. This way, I keep daily rsync backup volume to tiny little nibbles.
    ...do you people still use your computer whilst a backup process is running? Is that safe?
    I find that this depends a lot on HW. On old HW, backing up while other programs are running tends to slow the system to a crawl and I get the same fears that you get. On my newer and far more powerful systems though, the backup process is hardly noticeable even when I am running VMs etc. so I don't worry about multitasking. It's true that you may have some files locked and therefore not backed up, but the nice thing about a daily cron backup is that those files get picked up the next day, so there is really very little exposure. In short, only you can decide what your comfort level is, but in theory, there isn't much that can go wrong if you continue working while rsync is running.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just tell me.


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