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Currently I am trying to imagine a way of backing up all the file attributes and permissions of a certain directory, i.e. /volatile, for later restore. The procedere I have in mind would be:

  • backing up all the file attributes in /volatile
  • update /volatile (cloned from a git repo)
  • restore the file attributes to the new files

File attributes which should be preserved are for example, ownership and access rights as well as setuid-bits, etc ...

How would I do that if the file and directory structure is always completly identical and how would I do that if there are minor changes (i.e. one file deleted).

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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Which filesystem (FAT/NTFS/ext3...)? – schnaader Feb 19 '11 at 1:21
filesystem is ext3 – ftiaronsem Feb 19 '11 at 21:17
up vote 12 down vote accepted

This will restore Unix file permissions, POSIX ACLs, and (if setfacl run as root) file ownership:

getfacl -R /volatile > /backup/acls
cd / && setfacl --restore /backup/acls

This will restore ext3/XFS extended attributes (xattrs):

getfattr -Rd /volatile > /backup/xattrs
cd / && setfattr --restore /backup/xattrs
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