Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
RDIFF-BACKUP(1)			 User Manuals		       RDIFF-BACKUP(1)

       rdiff-backup - local/remote mirror and incremental backup

       rdiff-backup	 [options]	[[[user@]]::source_directory]

       rdiff-backup {{ -l | --list-increments }	| --remove-older-than time_in-
       terval  |  --list-at-time time |	--list-changed-since time | --list-in-
       crement-sizes	 |     --verify	    |	   --verify-at-time	 time}

       rdiff-backup --calculate-average	statfile1 statfile2 ...

       rdiff-backup	      --test-server	      [user1]@host1.net1::path
       [[user2]@host2.net2::path] ...

       rdiff-backup is a script, written in python(1) that backs up one	direc-
       tory  to	 another.  The target directory	ends up	a copy (mirror)	of the
       source directory, but extra reverse diffs are stored in a special  sub-
       directory of that target	directory, so you can still recover files lost
       some time ago.  The idea	is to combine the best features	 of  a	mirror
       and  an incremental backup.  rdiff-backup also preserves	symlinks, spe-
       cial files, hardlinks, permissions, uid/gid ownership, and modification

       rdiff-backup  can  also	operate	in a bandwidth efficient manner	over a
       pipe, like rsync(1).  Thus you can use ssh and rdiff-backup to securely
       back  a	hard  drive  up	to a remote location, and only the differences
       will be transmitted.  Using the default settings, rdiff-backup requires
       that the	remote system accept ssh connections, and that rdiff-backup is
       installed in the	user's PATH on the remote system.  For information  on
       other options, see the section on REMOTE	OPERATION.

       Note  that  you	should	not  write to the mirror directory except with
       rdiff-backup.  Many of the increments are stored	as reverse  diffs,  so
       if  you	delete	or  modify a file, you may lose	the ability to restore
       previous	versions of that file.

       Finally,	this man page is intended more as a precise description	of the
       behavior	 and  syntax of	rdiff-backup.  New users may want to check out
       the examples.html file included in the rdiff-backup distribution.

       -b, --backup-mode
	      Force backup mode	even if	first argument appears to be an	incre-
	      ment or mirror file.

	      Enter  calculate average mode.  The arguments should be a	number
	      of statistics files.  rdiff-backup will print the	average	of the
	      listed statistics	files and exit.

	      Enable backup of MacOS X carbonfile information.

	      If an rdiff-backup session fails,	running	rdiff-backup with this
	      option on	the destination	dir will undo  the  failed  directory.
	      This happens automatically if you	attempt	to back	up to a	direc-
	      tory and the last	backup failed.

	      This is equivalent to '--compare-at-time now'

       --compare-at-time time
	      Compare a	directory with the backup set at the given time.  This
	      can  be  useful  to  see	how archived data differs from current
	      data, or to check	that a backup is current.  This	only  compares
	      metadata,	 in  the  same way rdiff-backup	decides	whether	a file
	      has changed.

	      This is equivalent to '--compare-full-at-time now'

       --compare-full-at-time time
	      Compare a	directory with the backup set at the given  time.   To
	      compare regular files, the repository data will be copied	in its
	      entirety to the source side and compared byte by byte.  This  is
	      the slowest but most complete compare option.

	      This is equivalent to '--compare-hash-at-time now'

       --compare-hash-at-time time
	      Compare a	directory with the backup set at the given time.  Reg-
	      ular files will be compared by computing their  SHA1  digest  on
	      the  source  side	and comparing it to the	digest recorded	in the

	      Normally only the	final directory	of the destination  path  will
	      be  created  if it does not exist. With this option, all missing
	      directories on the destination path will be  created.  Use  this
	      option with care:	if there is a typo in the remote path, the re-
	      mote filesystem could fill up very quickly (by creating a	dupli-
	      cate  backup  tree).  For	 this  reason this option is primarily
	      aimed at scripts which automate backups.

       --current-time seconds
	      This option is useful mainly for testing.	 If set,  rdiff-backup
	      will  use	 it  for  the  current	time instead of	consulting the
	      clock.  The argument is the number of seconds since the epoch.

       --exclude shell_pattern
	      Exclude the file or files	matched	by shell_pattern.  If a	direc-
	      tory  is	matched,  then files under that	directory will also be
	      matched.	See the	FILE SELECTION section for more	information.

	      Exclude all device files.	 This can be useful for	 security/per-
	      missions reasons or if rdiff-backup is not handling device files

	      Exclude all fifo files.

       --exclude-filelist filename
	      Excludes the files listed	in filename.  If filename is handwrit-
	      ten  you probably	want --exclude-globbing-filelist instead.  See
	      the FILE SELECTION section for more information.

	      Like --exclude-filelist, but the list of files will be read from
	      standard	input.	See the	FILE SELECTION section for more	infor-

       --exclude-globbing-filelist filename
	      Like --exclude-filelist but each line of the  filelist  will  be
	      interpreted  according  to the same rules	as --include and --ex-

	      Like --exclude-globbing-filelist,	but the	list of	files will  be
	      read from	standard input.

	      Exclude  files  on  file	systems	 (identified by	device number)
	      other than the file system the root of the source	 directory  is

       --exclude-regexp	regexp
	      Exclude  files  matching the given regexp.  Unlike the --exclude
	      option, this option does not  match  files  in  a	 directory  it
	      matches.	See the	FILE SELECTION section for more	information.

	      Exclude all device files,	fifo files, socket files, and symbolic

	      Exclude all socket files.

	      Exclude all symbolic links.

       --exclude-if-present filename
	      Exclude directories if filename is present. This option needs to
	      come before any other include or exclude options.

	      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.

       --group-mapping-file filename
	      Map group	names and ids according	the  the  group	 mapping  file
	      filename.	  See  the  USERS AND GROUPS section for more informa-

       --include shell_pattern
	      Similar to --exclude but include matched files instead.	Unlike
	      --exclude,  this	option	will  also match parent	directories of
	      matched files (although not necessarily  their  contents).   See
	      the FILE SELECTION section for more information.

       --include-filelist filename
	      Like  --exclude-filelist,	 but include the listed	files instead.
	      If filename is handwritten you probably want --include-globbing-
	      filelist	instead.   See the FILE	SELECTION section for more in-

	      Like --include-filelist, but read	the  list  of  included	 files
	      from standard input.

       --include-globbing-filelist filename
	      Like  --include-filelist	but  each line of the filelist will be
	      interpreted according to the same	rules as --include  and	 --ex-

	      Like  --include-globbing-filelist, but the list of files will be
	      read from	standard input.

       --include-regexp	regexp
	      Include files matching  the  regular  expression	regexp.	  Only
	      files  explicitly	matched	by regexp will be included by this op-
	      tion.  See the FILE SELECTION section for	more information.

	      Include all device files,	fifo files, socket files, and symbolic

	      Include all symbolic links.

       --list-at-time time
	      List  the	 files	in  the	archive	that were present at the given
	      time.  If	a directory in the archive is specified, list only the
	      files under that directory.

       --list-changed-since time
	      List  the	 files	that have changed in the destination directory
	      since the	given time.  See TIME FORMATS for the format of	 time.
	      If  a directory in the archive is	specified, list	only the files
	      under that directory.  This option does not read the source  di-
	      rectory;	it  is	used  to compare the contents of two different
	      rdiff-backup sessions.

       -l, --list-increments
	      List the number and date of  partial  incremental	 backups  con-
	      tained in	the specified destination directory.  No backup	or re-
	      store will take place if this option is given.

	      List the total size of all the increment	and  mirror  files  by
	      time.   This  may	 be helpful in deciding	how many increments to
	      keep, and	when to	--remove-older-than.  Specifying  a  subdirec-
	      tory  is allowable; then only the	sizes of the mirror and	incre-
	      ments pertaining to that subdirectory will be listed.

       --max-file-size size
	      Exclude files that are larger than the given size	in bytes

       --min-file-size size
	      Exclude files that are smaller than the given size in bytes

	      Exit with	error instead of dropping acls or acl  entries.	  Nor-
	      mally  this  may happen (with a warning) because the destination
	      does not support them or because the relevant  user/group	 names
	      do not exist on the destination side.

	      No Access	Control	Lists -	disable	backup of ACLs

	      Disable backup of	MacOS X	carbonfile information

	      This  option  prevents  rdiff-backup  from flagging a hardlinked
	      file as changed when its device  number  and/or  inode  changes.
	      This  option is useful in	situations where the source filesystem
	      lacks persistent device and/or inode  numbering.	 For  example,
	      network filesystems may have mount-to-mount differences in their
	      device number (but possibly stable inode numbers); USB/1394  de-
	      vices  may come up at different device numbers each remount (but
	      would generally have same	inode number); and there are  filesys-
	      tems  which  don't  even have the	same inode numbers from	use to
	      use.  Without the	option rdiff-backup may	 generate  unnecessary
	      numbers of tiny diff files.

	      Disable  the  default  gzip compression of most of the .snapshot
	      and .diff	increment files	stored in the rdiff-backup-data	direc-
	      tory.   A	 backup	volume can contain compressed and uncompressed
	      increments, so using this	option inconsistently is fine.

       --no-compression-regexp	regexp
	      Do not compress increments based on files	whose filenames	 match
	      regexp.	The  default  includes many common audiovisual and ar-
	      chive files, and may be found in

	      No Extended Attributes support - disable backup of EAs.

	      This will	disable	writing	to the	file_statistics	 file  in  the
	      rdiff-backup-data	 directory.   rdiff-backup  will  run slightly
	      quicker and take up a bit	less space.

	      Don't replicate hard links on destination	side.  If  many	 hard-
	      linked  files  are present, this option can drastically decrease
	      memory usage.

	      Use nulls	(\0) instead of	 newlines  (\n)	 as  line  separators,
	      which  may help when dealing with	filenames containing newlines.
	      This affects the expected	format of the files specified  by  the
	      --{include|exclude}-filelist[-stdin]  switches  as  well	as the
	      format of	the directory statistics file.

	      If set, rdiff-backup's output will be tailored for easy  parsing
	      by computers, instead of convenience for humans.	Currently this
	      only applies when	listing	increments using the -l	or  --list-in-
	      crements switches, where the time	will be	given in seconds since
	      the epoch.

	      If the filesystem	to which we are	backing	up is not  case-sensi-
	      tive,  automatic	'quoting' of characters	occurs.	For example, a
	      file 'Developer.doc' will	be converted into  ';068eveloper.doc'.
	      To override this behavior, you need to specify this option.

	      If  set,	rdiff-backup will preserve uids/gids instead of	trying
	      to preserve unames and gnames.  See the USERS and	GROUPS section
	      for more information.

	      If  set,	summary	 statistics will be printed after a successful
	      backup If	not set, this information will still be	available from
	      the  session  statistics	file.	See the	STATISTICS section for
	      more information.

       -r, --restore-as-of restore_time
	      Restore the specified directory as it was	 as  of	 restore_time.
	      See  the TIME FORMATS section for	more information on the	format
	      of restore_time, and see the RESTORING section for more informa-
	      tion on restoring.

       --remote-cmd cmd
	      Deprecated. Please use --remote-schema instead

       --remote-schema schema
	      Specify  an alternate method of connecting to a remote computer.
	      This is necessary	to get rdiff-backup not	to use ssh for	remote
	      backups, or if, for instance, rdiff-backup is not	in the PATH on
	      the remote side.	See the	REMOTE OPERATION section for more  in-

       --remote-tempdir	path
	      Adds  the	 --tempdir option with argument	path when invoking re-
	      mote instances of	rdiff-backup.

       --remove-older-than time_spec
	      Remove the incremental backup information	in the destination di-
	      rectory  that  has  been	around	longer	than  the  given time.
	      time_spec	can be either an absolute time,	like "2002-01-04",  or
	      a	 time  interval.   The time interval is	an integer followed by
	      the character s, m, h, D,	W, M, or Y, indicating	seconds,  min-
	      utes,  hours,  days,  weeks, months, or years respectively, or a
	      number of	these concatenated.  For example, 32m  means  32  min-
	      utes,  and 3W2D10h7s means 3 weeks, 2 days, 10 hours, and	7 sec-
	      onds.  In	this context, a	month means 30 days,  a	 year  is  365
	      days, and	a day is always	86400 seconds.

	      rdiff-backup  cannot remove-older-than and back up or restore in
	      a	single session.	 In order to both backup a directory  and  re-
	      move old files in	it, you	must run rdiff-backup twice.

	      By  default,  rdiff-backup will only delete information from one
	      session at a time.  To remove two	or more	sessions at  the  same
	      time,  supply  the --force option	(rdiff-backup will tell	you if
	      --force is required).

	      Note that	snapshots of deleted files are covered by this	opera-
	      tion.  Thus if you deleted a file	two weeks ago, backed up imme-
	      diately afterwards, and then  ran	 rdiff-backup  with  --remove-
	      older-than  10D  today, no trace of that file would remain.  Fi-
	      nally, file selection options such as  --include	and  --exclude
	      don't affect --remove-older-than.

       --restrict path
	      Require  that  all  file	access be inside the given path.  This
	      switch, and the following	two, are intended to be	used with  the
	      --server	switch to provide a bit	more protection	when doing au-
	      tomated remote backups.  They are	not intended as	your only line
	      of  defense so please don't do something silly like allow	public
	      access to	an rdiff-backup	server run with	--restrict-read-only.

       --restrict-read-only path
	      Like --restrict, but also	reject all write requests.

       --restrict-update-only path
	      Like --restrict, but only	allow writes as	part of	an incremental
	      backup.	Requests  for  other  types  of	 writes	(for instance,
	      deleting path) will be rejected.

	      Enter server mode	(not to	be invoked directly, but instead  used
	      by another rdiff-backup process on a remote computer).

	      When  running  ssh,  do not use the -C option to enable compres-
	      sion.  --ssh-no-compression is ignored  if  you  specify	a  new
	      schema using --remote-schema.

       --tempdir path
	      Sets the directory that rdiff-backup uses	for temporary files to
	      the given	path. The environment variables	TMPDIR,	TEMP, and  TMP
	      can  also	 be used to set	the temporary files directory. See the
	      documentation of the Python tempfile module  for	more  informa-

       --terminal-verbosity [0-9]
	      Select  which  messages  will  be	displayed to the terminal.  If
	      missing the level	defaults to the	verbosity level.

	      Test for the presence of a  compatible  rdiff-backup  server  as
	      specified	 in  the  following  host::filename  argument(s).  The
	      filename section will be ignored.

       --user-mapping-file filename
	      Map user names and ids according to the user mapping file	 file-
	      name.  See the USERS and GROUPS section for more information.

       -v[0-9],	--verbosity [0-9]
	      Specify  verbosity level (0 is totally silent, 3 is the default,
	      and 9 is noisiest).  This	determines how much is written to  the
	      log file.

	      This is short for	--verify-at-time now

       --verify-at-time	now
	      Check  all  the data in the repository at	the given time by com-
	      puting the SHA1 hash of all the regular files and	comparing them
	      with the hashes stored in	the metadata file.

       -V, --version
	      Print the	current	version	and exit

       There are two ways to tell rdiff-backup to restore a file or directory.
       Firstly,	you can	run rdiff-backup on a mirror file and use  the	-r  or
       --restore-as-of	options.   Secondly,  you  can	run it on an increment

       For example, suppose in the past	you have run:

	      rdiff-backup /usr	/usr.backup

       to back up the /usr directory into the /usr.backup directory,  and  now
       want  a	copy  of  the  /usr/local  directory the way it	was 3 days ago
       placed at /usr/local.old.

       One way to do this is to	run:

	      rdiff-backup -r 3D /usr.backup/local /usr/local.old

       where above the "3D" means 3 days (for other ways to specify the	 time,
       see the TIME FORMATS section).  The /usr.backup/local directory was se-
       lected, because that is the directory containing	the current version of

       Note that the option to --restore-as-of always specifies	an exact time.
       (So "3D"	refers to the instant 72 hours before the present.)  If	 there
       was  no	backup	made  at  that	time,  rdiff-backup restores the state
       recorded	for the	previous backup.  For instance,	in the above case,  if
       "3D"  is	 used,	and there are only backups from	2 days and 4 days ago,
       /usr/local as it	was 4 days ago will be restored.

       The second way to restore files involves	finding	the corresponding  in-
       crement	file.	It  would  be  in the /backup/rdiff-backup-data/incre-
       ments/usr  directory,  and  its	name  would  be	 something  like  "lo-
       cal.2002-11-09T12:43:53-04:00.dir"  where the time indicates it is from
       3 days ago.  Note that the increment files all end in ".diff",  ".snap-
       shot", ".dir", or ".missing", where ".missing" just means that the file
       didn't exist at that time (finally, some	 of  these  may	 be  gzip-com-
       pressed,	and have an extra ".gz"	to indicate this).  Then running:

	      rdiff-backup	  /backup/rdiff-backup-data/increments/usr/lo-
	      cal.<time>.dir /usr/local.old

       would also restore the file as desired.

       If you are not sure exactly which version of a file  you	 need,	it  is
       probably	 easiest  to  either  restore from the increments files	as de-
       scribed immediately above, or to	see  which  increments	are  available
       with  -l/--list-increments,  and	then specify exact times into -r/--re-

       rdiff-backup uses time strings in two places.  Firstly, all of the  in-
       crement	files  rdiff-backup  creates will have the time	in their file-
       names in	 the  w3  datetime  format  as	described  in  a  w3  note  at     Basically    they   look	  like
       "2001-07-15T04:09:38-07:00", which  means  what	it  looks  like.   The
       "-07:00"	section	means the time zone is 7 hours behind UTC.

       Secondly, the -r, --restore-as-of, and --remove-older-than options take
       a time string, which can	be given in any	of several formats:

       1.     the string "now" (refers to the current time)

       2.     a	sequences of digits, like "123456890" (indicating the time  in
	      seconds after the	epoch)

       3.     A	string like "2002-01-25T07:00:00+02:00"	in datetime format

       4.     An interval, which is a number followed by one of	the characters
	      s, m, h, D, W, M,	or  Y  (indicating  seconds,  minutes,	hours,
	      days, weeks, months, or years respectively), or a	series of such
	      pairs.  In this case the string refers to	the time that preceded
	      the  current  time by the	length of the interval.	 For instance,
	      "1h78m" indicates	the time that was one hour and 78 minutes ago.
	      The calendar here	is unsophisticated: a month is always 30 days,
	      a	year is	always 365 days, and a day is always 86400 seconds.

       5.     A	date format of the form	YYYY/MM/DD, YYYY-MM-DD,	MM/DD/YYYY, or
	      MM-DD-YYYY,  which  indicates  midnight  on the day in question,
	      relative	to  the	 current  timezone  settings.	For  instance,
	      "2002/3/5",  "03-05-2002",  and  "2002-3-05" all mean March 5th,

       6.     A	backup session specification which is a	 non-negative  integer
	      followed	by  'B'.  For instance,	'0B' specifies the time	of the
	      current mirror, and '3B' specifies the time of  the  3rd	newest

       In order	to access remote files,	rdiff-backup opens up a	pipe to	a copy
       of rdiff-backup running on the remote machine.  Thus rdiff-backup  must
       be  installed  on  both	ends.	To  open this pipe, rdiff-backup first
       splits the filename  into  host_info::pathname.	 It  then  substitutes
       host_info into the remote schema, and runs the resulting	command, read-
       ing its input and output.

       The default remote schema is 'ssh -C %s	rdiff-backup  --server'	 where
       host_info   is	substituted   for   '%s'.   So	if  the	 host_info  is, then rdiff-backup	runs 'ssh  rdiff-backup
       --server'.  Using --remote-schema, rdiff-backup can invoke an arbitrary
       command in order	to open	up a remote pipe.  For instance,
	      rdiff-backup --remote-schema 'cd	/usr;  %s'  foo	 'rdiff-backup
       is basically equivalent to (but slower than)
	      rdiff-backup foo /usr/bar

       Concerning  quoting, if for some	reason you need	to put two consecutive
       colons in the host_info section of a host_info::pathname	 argument,  or
       in  the pathname	of a local file, you can quote one of them by prepend-
       ing a backslash.	 So in 'a\::b::c', host_info is	'a::b' and  the	 path-
       name  is	 'c'.	Similarly,  if you want	to refer to a local file whose
       filename	contains two consecutive colons, like 'strange::file',	you'll
       have  to	 quote	one of the colons as in	'strange\::file'.  Because the
       backslash is a quote character in these circumstances, it too  must  be
       quoted  to  get	a  literal  backslash,	so  'foo\::\\bar' evaluates to
       'foo::\bar'.  To	make things more complicated, because the backslash is
       also  a	common shell quoting character,	you may	need to	type in	'\\\\'
       at the shell prompt to get a literal backslash (if it  makes  you  feel
       better,	I  had	to  type  in  8	 backslashes  to  get that in this man
       page...).  And finally, to include a literal % in the string  specified
       by --remote-schema, quote it with another %, as in %%.

       Although	 ssh  itself  may be secure, using rdiff-backup	in the default
       way presents some security risks.  For instance if the server is	run as
       root, then an attacker who compromised the client could then use	rdiff-
       backup to overwrite arbitary server files by "backing  up"  over	 them.
       Such  a	setup  can be made more	secure by using	the sshd configuration
       option command="rdiff-backup --server" possibly along  with  the	 --re-
       strict*	options	 to  rdiff-backup.   For more information, see the web
       page, the wiki, and the entries for the --restrict* options on this man

       rdiff-backup has	a number of file selection options.  When rdiff-backup
       is run, it searches through the given source directory and backs	up all
       the  files  matching  the specified options.  This selection system may
       appear complicated, but it is supposed to be flexible and  easy-to-use.
       If you just want	to learn the basics, first look	at the selection exam-
       ples in the examples.html file included in the package, or on  the  web

       rdiff-backup's  selection  system  was originally inspired by rsync(1),
       but there are many differences.	(For  instance,	 trailing  backslashes
       have no special significance.)

       The  file  selection system comprises a number of file selection	condi-
       tions, which are	set using one of the following command	line  options:
       --exclude, --exclude-filelist, --exclude-device-files, --exclude-fifos,
       --exclude-sockets,    --exclude-symbolic-links,	   --exclude-globbing-
       filelist,  --exclude-globbing-filelist-stdin, --exclude-filelist-stdin,
       --exclude-regexp,   --exclude-special-files,   --include,    --include-
       filelist,   --include-globbing-filelist,	  --include-globbing-filelist-
       stdin, --include-filelist-stdin,	and --include-regexp.  Each  file  se-
       lection	condition  either  matches  or	doesn't	match a	given file.  A
       given file is excluded by the file selection system  exactly  when  the
       first  matching file selection condition	specifies that the file	be ex-
       cluded; otherwise the file is included.	When backing up, if a file  is
       excluded,  rdiff-backup	acts  as  if  that  file does not exist	in the
       source directory.  When restoring, an excluded file is  considered  not
       to exist	in either the source or	target directories.

       For instance,

	      rdiff-backup --include /usr --exclude /usr /usr /backup

       is exactly the same as

	      rdiff-backup /usr	/backup

       because	the  include  and  exclude  directives	match exactly the same
       files, and the --include	comes first, giving it precedence.  Similarly,

	      rdiff-backup --include /usr/local/bin --exclude /usr/local  /usr

       would  backup  the /usr/local/bin directory (and	its contents), but not

       The include, exclude, include-globbing-filelist,	and  exclude-globbing-
       filelist	 options  accept extended shell	globbing patterns.  These pat-
       terns can contain the special patterns *, **, ?,	and [...].   As	 in  a
       normal  shell,  *  can be expanded to any string	of characters not con-
       taining "/", ?  expands to any character	except "/", and	[...]  expands
       to a single character of	those characters specified (ranges are accept-
       able).  The new special pattern,	**, expands to any string  of  charac-
       ters  whether  or  not  it  contains  "/".  Furthermore,	if the pattern
       starts with "ignorecase:" (case insensitive), then this prefix will  be
       removed	and any	character in the string	can be replaced	with an	upper-
       or lowercase version of itself.

       If you need to match filenames which contain the	above globbing charac-
       ters,  they  may	 be  escaped using a backslash "\". The	backslash will
       only escape the character following it so for **	you will need  to  use
       "\*\*" to avoid escaping	it to the * globbing character.

       Remember	 that  you may need to quote these characters when typing them
       into a shell, so	the shell does not interpret the globbing patterns be-
       fore rdiff-backup sees them.

       The --exclude pattern option matches a file iff:

       1.     pattern can be expanded into the file's filename,	or

       2.     the file is inside a directory matched by	the option.

       Conversely, --include pattern matches a file iff:

       1.     pattern can be expanded into the file's filename,

       2.     the file is inside a directory matched by	the option, or

       3.     the file is a directory which contains a file matched by the op-

       For example,

	      --exclude	/usr/local

       matches /usr/local, /usr/local/lib, and /usr/local/lib/netscape.	 It is
       the same	as --exclude /usr/local	--exclude '/usr/local/**'.

	      --include	/usr/local

       specifies   that	  /usr,	  /usr/local,	/usr/local/lib,	 and  /usr/lo-
       cal/lib/netscape	(but not /usr/doc) all be backed up.  Thus  you	 don't
       have  to	worry about including parent directories to make sure that in-
       cluded subdirectories have somewhere to go.  Finally,

	      --include	ignorecase:'/usr/[a-z0-9]foo/*/**.py'

       would match a file  like	 /usR/5fOO/hello/there/   If  it  did
       match anything, it would	also match /usr.  If there is no existing file
       that the	given pattern can be expanded into, the	option will not	 match

       The  --include-filelist,	 --exclude-filelist, --include-filelist-stdin,
       and --exclude-filelist-stdin options also introduce file	selection con-
       ditions.	  They	direct	rdiff-backup  to  read in a file, each line of
       which is	a file specification, and to include or	exclude	 the  matching
       files.	Lines are separated by newlines	or nulls, depending on whether
       the --null-separator switch was given.  Each line in a filelist is  in-
       terpreted  similarly to the way extended	shell patterns are, with a few

       1.     Globbing patterns	like *,	**, ?, and [...]  are not expanded.

       2.     Include patterns do not match files in a directory that  is  in-
	      cluded.	So  /usr/local	in  an	include	 file  will  not match

       3.     Lines starting with "+ " are interpreted as include  directives,
	      even  if	found  in a filelist referenced	by --exclude-filelist.
	      Similarly, lines starting	with "-	" exclude files	even  if  they
	      are found	within an include filelist.

       For example, if the file	"list.txt" contains the	lines:

	      -	/usr/local/doc
	      +	/var
	      -	/var

       then  "--include-filelist list.txt" would include /usr, /usr/local, and
       /usr/local/bin.	  It   would	exclude	   /usr/local/doc,    /usr/lo-
       cal/doc/python,	etc.  It neither excludes nor includes /usr/local/man,
       leaving the fate	of this	directory to the next specification condition.
       Finally,	 it  is	 undefined what	happens	with /var.  A single file list
       should not contain conflicting file specifications.

       The --include-globbing-filelist and --exclude-globbing-filelist options
       also  specify  filelists,  but each line	in the filelist	will be	inter-
       preted as a globbing pattern the	way --include  and  --exclude  options
       are  interpreted	 (although  "+ " and "-	" prefixing is still allowed).
       For instance, if	the file "globbing-list.txt" contains the lines:

	      +	dir/bar
	      -	**

       Then "--include-globbing-filelist globbing-list.txt" would  be  exactly
       the  same  as specifying	"--include dir/foo --include dir/bar --exclude
       **" on the command line.

       Finally,	the --include-regexp and --exclude-regexp allow	 files	to  be
       included	and excluded if	their filenames	match a	python regular expres-
       sion.  Regular expression syntax	is too complicated  to	explain	 here,
       but is covered in Python's library reference.  Unlike the --include and
       --exclude options, the regular expression  options  don't  match	 files
       containing or contained in matched files.  So for instance

	      --include	'[0-9]{7}(?!foo)'

       matches	any  files  whose  full	pathnames contain 7 consecutive	digits
       which aren't followed by	'foo'.	However, it wouldn't match /home  even
       if /home/ben/1234567 existed.

       There  can  be  complications preserving	ownership across systems.  For
       instance	the username that owns a file on the source system may not ex-
       ist on the destination.	Here is	how rdiff-backup maps ownership	on the
       source to the destination (or vice-versa, in the	case of	restoring):

       1.     If the --preserve-numerical-ids  option  is  given,  the	remote
	      files  will always have the same uid and gid, both for ownership
	      and ACL entries.	This may cause unames and gnames to change.

       2.     Otherwise, attempt to preserve the user and group	names for own-
	      ership  and  in ACLs.  This may result in	files having different
	      uids and gids across systems.

       3.     If a name	cannot be preserved (e.g. because  the	username  does
	      not  exist), preserve the	original id, but only in cases of user
	      and group	ownership.  For	ACLs, omit any entry that  has	a  bad
	      user or group name.

       4.     The  --user-mapping-file	and --group-mapping-file options over-
	      ride this	behavior.  If either of	these options  is  given,  the
	      policy descriped in 2 and	3 above	will be	followed, but with the
	      mapped user and group instead of the original.  If  you  specify
	      both  --preserve-numerical-ids  and  one of the mapping options,
	      the behavior is undefined.

       The user	and group mapping files	both have the same form:


       Each line should	contain	a name or id, followed by a  colon  ":",  fol-
       lowed  by  another name or id.  If a name or id is not listed, they are
       treated in the default way described above.

       When restoring, the above behavior is also followed, but	note that  the
       original	 source	 user/group information	will be	the input, not the al-
       ready mapped user/group information present in the  backup  repository.
       For  instance,  suppose you have	mapped all the files owned by alice in
       the source so that they are owned by ben	in the repository, and now you
       want  to	 restore,  making sure the files owned originally by alice are
       still owned by alice.  In this case there is no need to use any of  the
       mapping	options.   However, if you wanted to restore the files so that
       the files originally owned by alice on the source are now owned by ben,
       you  would  have	 to use	the mapping options, even though you just want
       the unames of the repository's files preserved in the restored files.

       Every session rdiff-backup saves	various	statistics into	two files, the
       session	  statistics	file	at   rdiff-backup-data/session_statis-
       tics.<time>.data	and the	directory  statistics  file  at	 rdiff-backup-
       data/directory_statistics.<time>.data.	They  are  both	text files and
       contain similar information: how	many  files  changed,  how  many  were
       deleted,	 the total size	of increment files created, etc.  However, the
       session statistics file is intended to be very readable	and  only  de-
       scribes	the session as a whole.	 The directory statistics file is more
       compact (and slightly less  readable)  but  describes  every  directory
       backed up.  It also may be compressed to	save space.

       Statistics  related options include --print-statistics and --null-sepa-

       Also, rdiff-backup will save various messages to	the log	file, which is
       rdiff-backup-data/backup.log  for  backup  sessions  and	 rdiff-backup-
       data/restore.log	for restore sessions.  Generally what  is  written  to
       this file will coincide with the	messages diplayed to stdout or stderr,
       although	this can be changed with the --terminal-verbosity option.

       The log file is not compressed and can become  quite  large  if	rdiff-
       backup is run with high verbosity.

       If  rdiff-backup	 finishes successfully,	the exit status	will be	0.  If
       there is	an unrecoverable (critical) error, it will be  non-zero	 (usu-
       ally  1,	 but  don't  depend  on	this specific value).  When setting up
       rdiff-backup to run automatically (as from cron(8) or  similar)	it  is
       probably	a good idea to check the exit code.

       The  gzip  library  in versions 2.2 and earlier of python (but fixed in
       2.3a1) has trouble producing files over 2GB in length.  This  bug  will
       prevent	rdiff-backup from producing large compressed increments	(snap-
       shots or	diffs).	 A workaround is to disable compression	for large  un-
       compressable files.

       Ben Escoto <>

       Feel  free to ask me questions or send me bug reports, but you may want
       to see the web page, mentioned below, first.

       python(1), rdiff(1), rsync(1), ssh(1).  The main	rdiff-backup web  page
       is  at	It has more information, links
       to the mailing list and CVS, etc.

Version	1.1.15			 January 2008		       RDIFF-BACKUP(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help