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I want to set up standard rdiff-backup to remote server. However the data is very big for the capacity of internet connection, so I have transferred them on physical media. Than I synchronized the data by rync to make sure they are identical. Now I want to do intial rdiff-backup. When I run the rdiff-backup there are lots of lines

Getting delta (with hash) of XY

as if the directories were NOT identical. What exactly do these lines mean? Do they mean that the remote rdiff-backup decided that the file is not identical, so there is a delta diff transferred?

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Did you preserve timestamps and permissions when you seeded the original system? Rsync will start looking for deltas if the metadata doesn't match up. –  SmallClanger Apr 24 '13 at 11:13
That is a good idea, thanks, however here is what is strange and what happened several times: I started rdiff-backup and it starts getting these deltas. Than as the process is very long it fails in some point (probably network issues), so I delete rdiff-backup-data and try again. And it starts getting these deltas ALL OVER AGAIN, from the first file. Does not it have synchronized the files in the first failed attempt? Or it first gets all deltas and than applies them? –  gorn Apr 24 '13 at 11:19
I haven't used rdiff-backup, only rsync istelf, so I can't comment directly on that, but my guess is that it's trying to maintain consistency of the destination. Either all of the backup succeeds or none of it does. Likely the new files are written to temporary folders and only copied in to place locally once the sync completes successfully. –  SmallClanger Apr 24 '13 at 13:21
@SmallClanger: If you are right than there is not hope one can "resume" the initial backup in any way :( –  gorn Apr 24 '13 at 15:55

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