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[rdiff-backup-users] Safe to compare by ctime?

From: Ben Escoto
Subject: [rdiff-backup-users] Safe to compare by ctime?
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 13:21:35 -0700

Hi all, I'm wondering how safe it would be to determine whether
anything about a file has changed simply by looking at its ctime (plus
probably some sanity checks, like the file type).

Earlier versions did not have this choice, because ctime's usually
cannot be set, so there was no way to record the ctime of the source
files on the destination side.  But now rdiff-backup by default stores
the metadata on the destination side, and can record ctime.  I notice
too that, at least under linux, updating a file's extended attributes
or acls also changes its ctime.

So is ctime a good way to tell if something about a file has changed,
or are there some reasons not to use it on some systems?

Ben Escoto

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