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Is it possibly to run a rdiff-backup to an existing old plain tree copy of the files to backup? What options should be used?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I know the question is pretty old, but it came up in my search for this exact same thing.

I've found out [1] [2] that you can simply call:

rdiff-backup --force source/ dest/

and rdiff-backup will create the necessary checksumming/data files it needs to convert a plain mirror to an rdiff-backup destination.

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Sounds good! As I am not using rdiff-backup in daily procedure now, may I ask if you tried this successfully? –  dronus Oct 17 '13 at 22:17
    
@dronus: Yes. I tried it shortly after posting this and it worked fine. –  jaquer Oct 22 '13 at 5:21
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It sounds like what you're describing is rsync(1). I don't know how rdiff is different from a rsync, but I know that rsync only needs either (1) an rsync daemon listening on the remote system, tcp/873 by default, or (2) an ssh daemon listening on the remote system, tcp/22 by default. There may also be other ways of connecting the system.

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rdiff seems to be based on rsync, and rsync can be used to sync two directories. However, rdiff-backup stores versionated backups, and uses its special metadata therefore. The question was how to make an existing simple copied backup rdiff-backup compatible without copying the whole data again. Maybe its not possible as rdiff-backup collects information while copying (checksums / hashes or soemthing else). –  dronus Jan 24 '12 at 11:26
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