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[Duplicity-talk] Feedback based on restore experience

From: Sergei G
Subject: [Duplicity-talk] Feedback based on restore experience
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:47:01 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.9; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.6.0

Background: My old Mac Mini failed, so I had to restore data from duplicity backup. Unfortunately, I experienced a set of mostly unrelated issues with hardware and FreeBSD 10 handling of external USB drives. These issues made me to try restore multiple times. My experience ended up focused on sftp and later ftp.

Absolutely every attempt was delayed by a single type of error message:
    CollectionsError: No backup chains found
I provide a full stack trace at the end.

The problem with this error is that it reports a consequence and not an issue. Duplicity failed to get to the desired source directory, but it fails to report the preceding error.

For example, If FTP user's root is /home/userName, but backup is at /mnt/extufs/, FTP client will fail to cd to the new directory, while interactive console will have no problem. FTP failure to change path is not properly reported and that's the preceding error.

From what I remember the absolute form of sftp was one of the reasons for the same error message. I think sftp properly reports failure to cd to the remote directory. In my case, I was using sftp://address@hidden/abs/path/to/dir, but I should've used sftp://address@hidden//abs/path/to/dir. RTFM, but reporting a hint would be nice.

I usually had to find answers using other programs to questions:

1. What's my login remote directory? Is it the same as in other program I used?
2. What's my current remote directory when error occurred?

Answers to both questions from duplicity itself would make my life easier when troubleshooting.

Another set of problems was connected to incomplete error reporting when calling command line programs. I had a missing gpg command and I could not figure out its name, but its arguments were reported in the error message. I actually had to add print statements to source code to see what's the name of the missing application.

Here is a full stack trace for the typical FTP error:

NcFTP version is 3.2.5
Local and Remote metadata are synchronized, no sync needed.
Last full backup date: none
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/bin/duplicity", line 1502, in <module>
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/bin/duplicity", line 1496, in with_tempdir
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/bin/duplicity", line 1345, in main
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/bin/duplicity", line 1430, in do_backup
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/bin/duplicity", line 693, in restore
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/bin/duplicity", line 715, in restore_get_patched_rop_iter
    backup_chain = col_stats.get_backup_chain_at_time(time)
File "/Users/sergei/.py-virtualenvs/duplicity/lib/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/collections.py", line 952, in get_backup_chain_at_time
    raise CollectionsError("No backup chains found")
CollectionsError: No backup chains found

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