We have a BackupPC server that is supposed to be backing up a Lotus Domino 9 server, both on Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit with rsync 3.0.9.

Our Domino server is set to archive e-mail messages that are older that 12 months, and I have performed this archiving manually once, resulting in a number of notesdata/archive/a_user.nsf files with sizes between 50 MB and 2 GB or so. These files do not change in file size as of right now, but their modification time do change each day due to Domino running fix-ups on them.

My problem is that BackupPC is backing up these files in full each day, despite running an incremental backup. I have tried the rsync/xfer option --size-only without result. Maybe this is due to the files being altered in some way when running fix-up in Domino, without it showing up as a files size change? For example, if Domino runs a fix-up on the files it might insert a new timestamp inside the nsf causing some sort of checksum failure for rsync/xfer.

The question is, am I using --size-only right or is there a different option for rsync/xfer/backuppc availible to me? If not then I'd have to change the way Domino performs these fix-ups (assuming that's possible).

Thanks in advance for any input.

  • 1
    What do a md5sum/sha256sum on the .nsf files (live and backup) show? Are the .nsf files binary?
    – blau
    Jul 5, 2013 at 8:12
  • 1
    Did you check the rsync faq rsync recopies the same files?
    – blau
    Jul 5, 2013 at 8:19
  • Thanks blau, it was the --times option missing. I must have removed it in a previous attempt to solve the mystery, because it exists on other machines.
    – Johan B
    Jul 8, 2013 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


User blau pointed me to the rsync FAQ on why the same files are being copied over and over. Turns out it was the --times option missing from the original BackupPC xfer command.

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