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After Upgrading from Ubuntu 13 to 14.04 LTS I get an error when trying to do an rdiff-backup from a 14.04 LTS machine with rdiff-backup 1.2.8 to a client with the same OS and rdiff-backup version.

The error message is:

Exception '' raised of class '<type 'exceptions.MemoryError'>':
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/rdiff_backup/Main.py", line 304, in error_check_Main
    try: Main(arglist)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/rdiff_backup/Main.py", line 321, in Main
    rps = map(SetConnections.cmdpair2rp, cmdpairs)

Searching for a bug report I found: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=781844

but no bug report in http://savannah.nongnu.org/bugs/?group=rdiff-backup

What might be going on here?

What can I do about it?

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The error message seems to be fully misleading. This is probably no memory issue at all. If I try to do an ssh to the user on the machine I get "This account is currently not available".

The Ubuntu updated removed the shell entry for the backup user (which is a systems user and therefore it might not have been good idea to use this one in the first place ..). I added the /bin/bash entry to /etc/passwd again and rdiff-backup runs again.

I've reported this misleading message as a bug at https://savannah.nongnu.org/bugs/?46669

I'll accept this as an answer after the Serverfault grace period.

  • The error message is probably entirely correct. exceptions.MemoryError indicates that python is not able to allocate any more memory. And it seems unlikely that you would have seen it for any other reason. What may have happened is that the tool wasn't prepared to handle the This account is currently not available error and that error triggers a bug causing the tool to enter an infinite loop where it keeps allocating more and more memory. – kasperd Dec 11 '15 at 17:31
  • The error message is undoubtedly entirely correct, but that doesn't preclude it being misleading... Thanks for saving me an unspecified (but likely not small) amount of time today! – simon Jun 19 '19 at 21:55

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