[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Is rdiff-backup outdated?

From: Dominic Raferd
Subject: Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Is rdiff-backup outdated?
Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 07:26:45 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130329 Thunderbird/17.0.5

Hello Ans,

I have been using rdiff-backup for about 4 1/2 years and have found it very stable and reliable. I created and maintain a Windows wrapper for rdiff-backup called TimeDicer http://www.timedicer.co.uk/index and of course use it (and therefore rdiff-backup) every day.

There are two versions of rdiff-backup in common use: 1.2.8 is the 'stable' version (which I use), 1.3.3 is 'unstable' but is actually stable too by all accounts. No significant difference in functionality I think.

I have repositories (archives) going back 4 1/2 years and can retrieve versions of files that have since changed and been backed up daily going back to the beginning of that time. Although I have never needed to do that, I have on several occasions needed to recover files from the past (i.e. earlier than the most recent backup) and rdiff-backup has delivered the goods and been a life-saver (OK not quite literally).

I wrote a page about backup technologies when I was - as you now are - researching them, and it might help you - here: http://www.timedicer.co.uk/finding_a_backup_solution

Weaknesses of rdiff-backup?
  1. It was not designed with security in mind - indeed the most recent backup is stored 'in the clear' - a related tool 'duplicity' (which however uses forward deltas instead of reverse deltas) addresses this if you need it.
  2. Some reports of problems when backing up *to* a Windows file system destination, and there are some unconfirmed problems with storing Windows ACLs; however I have found it totally reliable for non-ACL Windows file backup to Linux machine/file system (and recovery therefrom).
  3. It lacks a really robust and usable verification system (it does allow verification but I understand it does not do a 100% job, which is a bit of an oxymoron) - however my experience is that it backup repositories are reliable nevertheless. For TimeDicer I wrote a script http://www.timedicer.co.uk/programs/help/timedicer-verify.sh.php which can do 100% verification (by repeated runs of rdiff-backup with --verify-at-time).
  4. Not great over unstable connections (e.g. internet) - it works but is not recommended (repeated failures might lead to repository corruption). I always run rdiff-backup to a destination on our local LAN (via TimeDicer) and then use rsync to backup the repositories offsite (via timedicer-mirror http://www.timedicer.co.uk/programs/help/timedicer-mirror.sh.php).
  5. Although you can remove 'old history' for all files in a repository (e.g. all backups older than six months, say), there is no easy way to remove specific files or directories from a backup repository without removing the whole repository. Because all previous history is retained, if you inadvertently backup a source which contains data you don't want to keep (and might bloat the backup), it is no good just correcting the backup for next time, because rdiff-backup will keep the unwanted files in its 'history'. Workaround is to regress the whole repository back to the time before the mistake occurred (losing all subsequent changes) and then resume backups with the now-corrected source specification. I wrote a script http://www.timedicer.co.uk/programs/help/rdiff-backup-regress.sh.php which can help with this.
  6. No maintainer - fixed! Thanks Ned!

In summary, rdiff-backup is not outdated and remains a fantastic and practical tool - and it is free and open-source.



On 13/05/13 21:41, Ans Alghamdi wrote:

I just find it a bit odd that this powerful tool does not have any bug fix (if there are any) since 2009! 

So is it outdated, or its so powerful that there is no need for any update?

I've already posted this quastion on serverfault at:


(P.S. The reason behind this is that I'm looking for a backup tool. rdiff-backup really suits my needs but the lack of bug fixes/active development is what is keeping me away)


rdiff-backup-users mailing list at address@hidden
Wiki URL: http://rdiff-backup.solutionsfirst.com.au/index.php/RdiffBackupWiki

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]