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Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Restore while backing up

From: Christopher Hawkins
Subject: Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Restore while backing up
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:46:11 +0000

The error doesn't say they will write to the same repository, it says "if" they do, data will be corrupted. It can only see that another process is running, it doesn't know that you are targeting a different destination. 

And - restores do write files, to the place where you are restoring them to. It doesn't know that you are restoring to a different directory and the warning is generic. A restore is a read only operation on the source repo as long as you are restoring to another place. That said, like any file copy operation it may read lock certain files and if the backup in progress tries to update those, it will fail. So you are risking an interruption of the current backup but I would say you are not risking data corruption. Best to wait if possible. 

On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 8:07 AM Laurent De Buyst <address@hidden> wrote:
I doubt I'm the first to run into this, but google didn't help...

I tried to restore a whole directoy to /tmp and I got this error message:

"Fatal Error: It appears that a previous rdiff-backup session with process id 17597 is still running.  If two different rdiff-backup processes write the same repository simultaneously, data corruption will probably result.  To proceed with regress anyway, rerun rdiff-backup with the --force option."

So first off, as far as I know, restoring something does not involve a "write [to] the same repository". So I'm confused as to why this error message says so.

I'm tempted by the --force, but just for safety I look at the man page beforehand.

              Authorize a more drastic modification of a directory than usual (for instance, when overwriting of a destination  path,  or  when  removing
              multiple  sessions  with --remove-older-than).  rdiff-backup will generally tell you if it needs this.  WARNING: You can cause data loss if
              you mis-use this option.  Furthermore, do NOT use this option when doing a restore, as it will DELETE FILES,  unless  you  absolutely  know
              what you are doing."

Not only do I find a complete contradiction of what I was told two seconds ago (ie. don't use --force), it again refers to restores that write files...

Can someone clear up my confusion? Can I restore files while a backup is happening and if yes, how do I do that safely?

Laurent De Buyst
System administrator
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