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This question already has an answer here:

I backup my LAMP server using RSync over SSH.

Currently, it's on an hourly incremental schedule.

From a 14GB full backup, it's backing up a further 15~MB hourly.

Looking at the files it's backing up again, I think most of these haven't changed.

Does the file last accessed time attribute mean the file has technically changed and would be re-backed up?

marked as duplicate by kubanczyk, Ward, mdpc, Jenny D, masegaloeh Apr 9 '15 at 14:46

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  • Please edit your question to show the full rsync command you are using. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Apr 8 '15 at 9:52
  • you might want to check out rdiff-backup instead – Jarmund Apr 8 '15 at 10:54
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No, rsync does not check the access time (atime) of a file. Instead, it use the modified and changed times (ctime/mtime) to check if a file changed.

What you should pay attention, however, is that rsync is preserving mtime (-t option) in the fist place. If not, any further attempt will re-sync the same files.

rsync -a includes '-rlptgoD' options, so if you use '-a' it will be sufficient.

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