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Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Backup hangs

From: Steven Willoughby
Subject: Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Backup hangs
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 10:27:48 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100713 Thunderbird/3.0.6

On 08/19/2010 08:57 AM, Neil Benn wrote:

         I'm trying to use rdiff backup to backup from my work server to
a hard drive on my home network (needed for audit purposes - I know it
sounds crazy but there you go!).  The network is very slow however it
seems that rdiff backup starts working and then eventually grinds to a
halt about halfway through never making it to the end - I'm backing up
about 40Gb.  Obviously once the in ital backup is done the amount of
transferred data will be smaller but rdiff-backup never manages to get
through to the end it always jams somewhere.  Is there a way to
determine if rdiff backup is still transferring the data but very very
slowly so I can work out if rdiff-backup has frozen or if it is just on
a go slow?

You can use -v6 or higher to get a good picture of what's happening. If several large files are involved then you could use wireshark to see if there is much activity.

rdiff-backup isn't very good over unreliable links since it doesn't resume partial transfers. I have solved this in two different ways in the past:

1. Using openvpn. If you turn on the --ping-restart option then it will detect a down link and restart it. This should be transparent to the ssh session. You can also try messing with ssh options like BatchMode.

2. First rsync the data and then run rdiff-backup. The sequence of commands that I run on the destination server is something like this:

set -e

cp -rpl $dest $temp
rm -r $temp/rdiff-backup-data

while ! rsync -vaz --partial $host:$source/ $temp/
        echo rsync failed, trying again
        sleep 10

rdiff-backup --no-hard-links $temp $dest

Since this uses hard links it should not consume too much space during the rsync process. You also might be able to use rsync's link-dest option instead of the cp and rm commands.

I have successfully been using this method to back up hundreds of gigs of data over long periods of time.


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