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On the source server (A), I got a file /opt/resources/xxx and a hard link /etc/apache2/sites-available/xxx pointing to this file.

On another server (B) I got the same structure /etc/apache2/sites-available/xxx hard linked to /opt/resources/xxx

I rsync on server (A) towards server (B) all changes under /opt

When I change file xxx on server A, and then rsync to server B these changes are reflected. /opt/resources/xxx on server B contains my changes I made on the same file on server A.

The only thing I don't understand is that the file /etc/apache2/sites-available/xxx doesn't contain the change.

It appears as if rsync breaks the hard link, but probably I'm missing some configuration option.

Which one ?


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-H is the option for preserving hard links; it is not included in -a.

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rsyncs handling of hardlinks depends on you sending ALL linked files in a single transfer (syncing both /etc/apache2/sites-available/ and /opt/resources/ to server B at once):

Note that rsync can only detect hard links between files that are inside the transfer set. If rsync updates a file that has extra hard-link connections to files outside the transfer, that linkage will be broken.

This is because by default, rsync writes the file to a new location then moves it over the top of the previous file, essentially erasing the original hard link and replacing it with a new file. It suggests using the --inplace option to change this default, but warns that there are risks to that, most notably:

(2) the file's data will be in an inconsistent state during the transfer, (3) a file's data may be left in an inconsistent state after the transfer if the transfer is interrupted or if an update fails

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