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A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Third Edition by Mark G. Sobell

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Making Backups

After performing an initial full backup, rsync is able to perform subsequent incremental backups efficiently with regard to running time and storage space. By definition, an incremental backup stores only those files that have changed since the last backup; these are the only files that rsync needs to copy. As the following example shows, rsync, without using extra disk space, can make each incremental backup appear to be a full backup by creating hard links between the incremental backup and the unchanged files in the initial full backup.

––link-dest=dir

The rsync ––link-dest=dir option makes backups easy and efficient. It presents the user and/or system administrator with snapshots that appear to be full backups while taking ...

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