man pages section 1: User Commands
Updated: July 2014

## rdiff-backup (1)

### Name

rdiff-backup - local/remote mirror and incremental backup

### Synopsis

rdiff-backup [options] [[[user@]host1.foo]::source_directory
[[[user@]host2.foo]::destination_directory

rdiff-backup {{ -l | --list-increments }  |  --remove-older-
than  time_interval  | --list-at-time time | --list-changed-
since time | --list-increment-sizes | --verify  |  --verify-
at-time time} [[[user@]host2.foo]::destination_directory

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

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

### Description



User Manuals                                      RDIFF-BACKUP(1)

NAME
rdiff-backup - local/remote mirror and incremental backup

SYNOPSIS
rdiff-backup [options] [[[user@]host1.foo]::source_directory
[[[user@]host2.foo]::destination_directory

rdiff-backup {{ -l | --list-increments }  |  --remove-older-
than  time_interval  | --list-at-time time | --list-changed-
since time | --list-increment-sizes | --verify  |  --verify-
at-time time} [[[user@]host2.foo]::destination_directory

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

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

DESCRIPTION
rdiff-backup is a script, written in python(1) that backs up
one  directory  to  another.  The target directory ends up a
copy (mirror) of the source  directory,  but  extra  reverse
diffs  are  stored  in a special subdirectory 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 sym-
ship, and modification times.

rdiff-backup can also operate in a bandwidth efficient  man-
ner  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  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.

OPTIONS
-b, --backup-mode

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Force backup mode even if first argument appears to  be
an increment or mirror file.

--calculate-average
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.

--carbonfile
Enable backup of MacOS X carbonfile information.

--check-destination-dir
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 directory and the  last  backup
failed.

--compare
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 dif-
fers  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.

--compare-full
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.

--compare-hash
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.  Regular files  will  be  compared  by  computing
their  SHA1  digest on the source side and comparing it
to the digest recorded in the metadata.

--create-full-path
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

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a typo in the remote path, the remote filesystem  could
fill  up  very  quickly (by creating a duplicate 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 directory is matched, then files under that directory
will also be matched.  See the FILE  SELECTION  section

--exclude-device-files
Exclude all device files.  This can be useful for secu-
rity/permissions reasons or if rdiff-backup is not han-
dling device files correctly.

--exclude-fifos
Exclude all fifo files.

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

--exclude-filelist-stdin
Like --exclude-filelist, but the list of files will  be
read  from standard input.  See the FILE SELECTION sec-

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

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

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

--exclude-regexp regexp
Exclude  files  matching  the given regexp.  Unlike the

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--exclude option, this option does not match files in a
directory  it  matches.  See the FILE SELECTION section

--exclude-special-files
Exclude all device files, fifo files, socket files, and

--exclude-sockets
Exclude all socket files.

Exclude  all  symbolic  links. This option is automati-
cally enabled if the backup source is running on native
Windows to avoid backing-up NTFS reparse points.

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

--force
Authorize  a  more  drastic modification of a directory
than usual (for instance, when overwriting of a  desti-
nation  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.

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

--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

--include-filelist filename
Like --exclude-filelist, but include the  listed  files
instead.   If filename is handwritten you probably want

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

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

--include-globbing-filelist-stdin
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 option.  See the FILE SELECTION sec-

--include-special-files
Include all device files, fifo files, socket files, and

--list-at-time time
List  the files in the archive that were present at the
given time.  If a directory in the  archive  is  speci-
fied, 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 directory; 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
contained in the specified destination  directory.   No
backup  or  restore  will  take place if this option is
given.

--list-increment-sizes
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  subdirectory  is allowable; then
only the sizes of the mirror and increments  pertaining
to that subdirectory will be listed.

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

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bytes

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

--never-drop-acls
Exit  with  error  instead  of  dropping  acls  or  acl
entries.  Normally 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-acls
No Access Control Lists - disable backup of ACLs

--no-carbonfile
Disable backup of MacOS X carbonfile information

--no-compare-inode
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 situa-
tions 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 num-
bers); USB/1394 devices may come up at different device
numbers  each  remount  (but  would generally have same
inode number); and there are  filesystems  which  don't
even  have  the  same  inode  numbers  from use to use.
Without the option rdiff-backup may  generate  unneces-
sary numbers of tiny diff files.

--no-compression
Disable  the  default  gzip  compression of most of the
.snapshot and  .diff  increment  files  stored  in  the
rdiff-backup-data  directory.  A backup volume can con-
tain compressed and uncompressed increments,  so  using
this option inconsistently is fine.

--no-compression-regexp  regexp
Do  not  compress increments based on files whose file-
names match regexp.  The default includes  many  common
audiovisual  and  archive  files,  and  may be found in
Globals.py.

--no-eas
No Extended Attributes support - disable backup of EAs.

--no-file-statistics
This  will  disable writing to the file_statistics file

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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.   This  option is
enabled by default if the backup source or restore des-
tination is running on native Windows.

--null-separator
Use nulls (\0) instead of newlines (\n) as line separa-
tors, which may help when dealing with  filenames  con-
taining  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.

--parsable-output
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-increments switches,
where the time will  be  given  in  seconds  since  the
epoch.

--override-chars-to-quote
If  the  filesystem  to  which we are backing up is not
case-sensitive,  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.

--preserve-numerical-ids
If set, rdiff-backup will preserve uids/gids instead of
trying to preserve unames and gnames.   See  the  USERS

--print-statistics
If set, summary statistics will be printed after a suc-
cessful backup.  If  not  set,  this  information  will
still  be  available  from the session statistics file.

-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

--remote-cmd cmd

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

--remove-older-than time_spec
Remove the incremental backup information in the desti-
nation  directory  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 inter-
val is an integer followed by the character s, m, h, D,
W,  M,  or Y, indicating seconds, minutes, hours, days,
weeks, months, or years respectively, or  a  number  of
these concatenated.  For example, 32m means 32 minutes,
and 3W2D10h7s means 3 weeks, 2 days, 10  hours,  and  7
seconds.   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 remove 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 ses-
sions  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  operation.   Thus if you deleted a file two weeks
ago, backed up immediately  afterwards,  and  then  ran
rdiff-backup  with  --remove-older-than  10D  today, no
trace of that file would remain.  Finally, file  selec-
tion  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 automated remote backups.  They

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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.

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

--ssh-no-compression
When running ssh, do not use the -C  option  to  enable
compression.   --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  tem-
porary  files  directory.  See the documentation of the

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

--test-server
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.

--use-compatible-timestamps
Create timestamps in which the hour/minute/second sepa-
rator  is  a  -  (hyphen) instead of a : (colon). It is
safe to use this option on one backup, and then not use
it  on another; rdiff-backup supports the intermingling
of different timestamp formats. This option is  enabled
by default on platforms which require that the colon be
escaped.

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

-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.

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

--verify-at-time now
Check all the data in the repository at the given  time
by computing 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

RESTORING
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 file.

For example, suppose in the past you have run:

rdiff-backup /usr /usr.backup

to back up the /usr directory into  the  /usr.backup  direc-
tory,  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 selected,  because  that  is
the  directory containing the current version of /usr/local.

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  corre-
sponding  increment file.  It would be in the /backup/rdiff-
backup-data/increments/usr directory, and its name would  be
something  like  "local.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", ".snapshot", ".dir", or
".missing", where ".missing" just means that the file didn't
exist  at  that  time  (finally,  some of these may be gzip-

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compressed, and have an extra ".gz" to indicate this).  Then
running:

rdiff-backup           /backup/rdiff-backup-data/incre-
ments/usr/local.<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 described immediately above, or  to  see
which  increments  are  available with -l/--list-increments,
and then specify exact times into -r/--restore-as-of.

TIME FORMATS
rdiff-backup uses time strings in two places.  Firstly,  all
of  the  increment  files rdiff-backup creates will have the
time in  their  filenames  in  the  w3  datetime  format  as
described  in  a  w3 note at http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-date-
time.  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  respec-
tively),  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, 2002.

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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 increment.

REMOTE OPERATION
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,

The  default  remote  schema  is  'ssh  -C  %s  rdiff-backup
--server'  where  host_info  is substituted for '%s'.  So if
the host_info is user@host.net, then rdiff-backup runs  'ssh
user@host.net   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 --server'::bar
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 prepending a backslash.
So in 'a\::b::c', host_info is 'a::b' and  the  pathname  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 char-
acter 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  arbi-
trary  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

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the --restrict* options to rdiff-backup.  For more  informa-
tion,  see  the  web page, the wiki, and the entries for the
--restrict* options on this man page.

FILE SELECTION
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 at http://rdiff-backup.nongnu.org/examples.html

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 selec-
tion conditions, which are set using one  of  the  following
command   line   options:   --exclude,   --exclude-filelist,
--exclude-device-files, --exclude-fifos,  --exclude-sockets,
--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  selection  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
excluded; 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  prece-
dence.  Similarly,

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

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would backup the  /usr/local/bin  directory  (and  its  con-
tents), but not /usr/local/doc.

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

If you need to match filenames which contain the above glob-
bing characters, 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 before 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
option.

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/**'.

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--include /usr/local

specifies  that  /usr,   /usr/local,   /usr/local/lib,   and
/usr/local/lib/netscape (but not /usr/doc) all be backed up.
Thus you don't have to worry about including parent directo-
ries  to  make  sure that included subdirectories have some-
where to go.  Finally,

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

would match a file like /usR/5fOO/hello/there/world.py.   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 /usr.

The   --include-filelist,   --exclude-filelist,   --include-
filelist-stdin, and  --exclude-filelist-stdin  options  also
introduce  file  selection  conditions.   They direct rdiff-
backup to read in a file, each line of which is a file spec-
ification,  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 interpreted  similarly  to  the  way  extended
shell patterns are, with a few exceptions:

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

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

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

then  "--include-filelist  list.txt"  would  include   /usr,
/usr/local,    and   /usr/local/bin.    It   would   exclude
/usr/local/doc,  /usr/local/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

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file list should not  contain  conflicting  file  specifica-
tions.

The   --include-globbing-filelist   and  --exclude-globbing-
filelist options also specify filelists, but  each  line  in
the  filelist  will be interpreted 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/foo
+ 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 expression.  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.

USERS AND GROUPS
There  can be complications preserving ownership across sys-
tems.  For instance the username that owns  a  file  on  the
source system may not exist 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  ownership  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

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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 override this behavior.   If  either  of  these
options is given, the policy described in 2 and 3 above
will be followed, but with the mapped  user  and  group
instead  of  the  original.  If you specify both --pre-
serve-numerical-ids and one of the mapping options, the
behavior is undefined.

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

old_name_or_id1:new_name_or_id1
old_name_or_id2:new_name_or_id2
<etc>

Each  line  should contain a name or id, followed by a colon
":", followed 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  already  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.

STATISTICS
Every session rdiff-backup saves various statistics into two
files, the session statistics file at rdiff-backup-data/ses-
sion_statistics.<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
describes  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 com-
pressed to save space.

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Statistics-related options  include  --print-statistics  and
--null-separator.

Also,  rdiff-backup  will  save  various messages to the log
file, which is rdiff-backup-data/backup.log for backup  ses-
sions  and  rdiff-backup-data/restore.log  for  restore ses-
sions.  Generally what is written to this file will coincide
with  the  messages  displayed 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.

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

BUGS
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 (snapshots or diffs).  A work-
around is to disable compression  for  large  uncompressable
files.

AUTHOR
Ben Escoto <ben@emerose.org>

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

ATTRIBUTES
See  attributes(5)  for  descriptions   of   the   following
attributes:

+---------------+---------------------+
|ATTRIBUTE TYPE |  ATTRIBUTE VALUE    |
+---------------+---------------------+
|Availability   | backup/rdiff-backup |
+---------------+---------------------+
|Stability      | Uncommitted         |
+---------------+---------------------+

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

NOTES
This  software  was   built   from   source   available   at
https://java.net/projects/solaris-userland.    The  original
nah.gnu.org/releases/rdiff-backup/rdiff-backup-1.3.3.tar.gz

open        source        community        website        at
http://www.nongnu.org/rdiff-backup/.

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