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We have a number of servers, and a couple that have somewhat ancient distros (one Debian 6 and one Debian 7). Fortunately rdiff-backup 1.2.8 was fairly ubiquitous and even our new storage server (hosting the backups) with Ubuntu 18.04 had that version until I updated it to 20.04 this past week. I didn't pay enough attention to the differences before updating and now realize that the server was updated to rdiff-backup 2.0 which is no longer compatible.

The two main options I see are to try and get rdiff-backup 2.0 on the old servers or to install a parallel copy of 1.2.8 on the backup/storage server.

The former will be problematic as the older server doesn't even have python3.

The latter is also proving difficult as the latest version of librsync also doesn't seem compatible with 1.2.8.

Is there a build of 1.2.8 available for newer distros from somewhere? Or has anyone accomplished this and have the requirements and steps to reproduce it?

Or alternatively does anyone have a build of 2.0 that works on an old Debian 6 system?

Or are there any other alternatives? The Ubuntu system does have lxd/snaps so maybe there's a container available that would run on the new distro and host the old version?

(Updating our old systems is not an immediate solution though I have that on my list to do eventually, too.)

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  • Those systems are many years out of date. They should have been at the top of your to-do list long ago. – Michael Hampton Nov 8 '20 at 6:14
  • There are some dependencies and they’re somewhat isolated systems so they’re not exposed to much. They just run along doing what they did when they were set up. – B. Morris Nov 8 '20 at 6:18
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After trying unsuccessfully to get 1.2.8 to build on my Ubuntu 20.04 system, I explored the container solution. I hadn't personally worked with setting up lxd and creating a container before (so there was a bit of a learning curve there), but with the help of a coworker I was able to:

  • set up lxd
  • create an 18.04 container
  • install rdiff-backup 1.2.8
  • make it privileged (to match the existing backup model)
  • map in the existing backup volume
  • write a wrapper to lxc exec container -- rdiff-backup $*
  • change my backup script to use --remote-schema to run my wrapper

Seems to work great.

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