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I am using backup-rsnapshot to backup a debian system creating incremental backups with rsync.

Basically, what is happening is that the backup drive gets filled up until it is completely full and the backup crashes. This happens directly on the first backup and the original harddrive is less then half as small as the backup drive.

The executed rsync command is

/usr/bin/rsync -av --delete --numeric-ids --relative --delete-excluded \
    --exclude=/proc/** --exclude=/sys/** --exclude=/tmp/** \
    --exclude=/var/tmp/** --exclude=/var/cache/apt/archives/** \
    --exclude=/mnt/** --exclude=/media/** --exclude=/dev/** \
    --exclude=mnt/backup /. /mnt/backup/daily.0/r01-server/

Any ideas how I can fix this?


I checked the backup drive using ncdu and found out the following:

/usr/share/perl5/Debconf/DbDriver/ - 8GB big. /usr/share/php/PEAR/Installer/Role/Data.xml - 8GB big, /usr/share/php/PEAR/Installer/Role/Doc.php - 4GB big, /usr/share/php/PEAR/Command/Mirror.php - 8GB,
/usr/share/php/PEAR/Command/Mirror.php - 4GB,
/root/apr-1.4.6/build-i386/test/lfstests/large.bin - 8GB, 
/root/apr-1.4.6/build-i386/test/lfstests/buffer.bin - 8GB

The whole space used on the original drive is only 8GB... I got no idea how this could happen, it also is atleast the 3rd time trying, always the same error. Crazy.

Any ideas, anyone?

share|improve this question
Look closely at what is getting backed up. Are you sure nothing is getting backed up twice? Rsync doesn't follow symlinks by default, it doesn't know anything about bind mounts, and it it doesn't handle hard links unless you pass an option. – Zoredache May 30 '13 at 17:07
what are the contents of the backup drive? Are they what you expect? data has to come from somewhere... – voretaq7 May 30 '13 at 17:12
I just checked where most space is being used using ncdu and noticed very weird things. First, /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/DbDriver/ is 8GB big. Second, /usr/share/php/PEAR/Installer/Role/Data.xml is 8GB big, /usr/share/php/PEAR/Installer/Role/Doc.php is 4GB big, /usr/share/php/PEAR/Command/Mirror.php 8GB, /usr/share/php/PEAR/Command/Mirror.php4GB and the path in which I build libapr /root/apr-1.4.6/build-i386/test/lfstests containing 2 GB files large.bin and buffer.bin. What the...? The real disk usage is only 8GB.. – Zulakis May 30 '13 at 18:24
How big are those files on the original? Do they change frequently? How often are you running incrementals? How big is the backup drive? Do you really want the --delete flag?? – Ram May 30 '13 at 19:16
The original files are only a few kilobyte big. And yes, I want the -- delete flag even though it doesn't matter in this case as the destination directory is completely empty. – Zulakis May 30 '13 at 19:44

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