Subject: Re: Removing GNU tar and GNU cpio from src?
To: James K. Lowden <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 01/25/2003 17:16:48
[ On Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 14:42:37 (-0500), James K. Lowden wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Removing GNU tar and GNU cpio from src?
> He doesn't want a perfect pristine backup from single-user mode; he wants
> a best-effort backup of a running machine.

Then he's using the wrong tool for the job, or at least using it incorrectly.

> He's only saying that he'd like nonfatal problems to yield a nonfatal
> return code,

A backup tool that knowingly produces corrupt backups without exiting
with a non-zero error code is buggy -- pure and simple.

There are lots of good and good-enough ways to get a best-effort copy of
the files from a filesystem without having to create stupid and
unnecessary bugs in the underlying tools being used.  It can even be
done without adding new special options to the underlying tools, and
without simply ignoring all errors

One of the obvious things to do is to ignore the files which change, and
another is to stop whatever changes them.  If the latter is impossible
yet those changing file must still be backed up with a best-effort level
then create a static copy before starting the backup (and still ignore
the live, changing, copy).

								Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098;            <>;           <>
Planix, Inc. <>; VE3TCP; Secrets of the Weird <>