Can't write archive

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cercatrova
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:05 pm

Can't write archive

Post by cercatrova » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:32 pm

Hi,
I'm trying to use fsarchiver 0.6.1 from SystemRescueCD 1.3.3 to archive my partitions to an external 250GB USB hard disk formatted as FAT32. All goes well with the /boot, /, /usr, etc. partitions (all are rather small - no more than 2.5GB). However, when I try to archive the 20GB /home partition using (and trying to stay under the 4GB file size limit):

fsarchiver savefs -v -s4000 /mnt/backup/home-fs.fsa /dev/sda6

I receive, after archiving proceeds for about 5 minutes:

archive.c#369,archive_write_data(): write(size=259691) returned 188658
archive.c#379,archive_write_data(): Can't write archive file: space on device is 95.01 GB
create.c#207,createar_obj_regfile_unique(): operation has been interrupted
removing /mnt/backup/home-fs.fsa

I see that there was a bug fixed in 0.6.3 related to archive splitting - is my problem related to this?

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by admin » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:09 pm

Your problem is very likely to be the bug of the archive splitting, especially if you are using a 32bit binary.
Execute "file $(which fsarchiver)" to know if it's a 32bit or 64bit binary.
Please upgrade to 0.6.5, it's free.

cercatrova
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:05 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by cercatrova » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:27 pm

Thank you for your help! I indeed loaded the 32-bit kernel on the SystemRescueCD (actually, I'm using it as a USB key), even though I have a 64-bit system. I will try the 64-bit kernel - I take it from your message that it provides a 64-bit fsarchiver.

Regarding upgrading to 0.6.5, I would be happy to, but is there a simple way to slipstream an upgraded version onto the SystemRescueCD? IIRC, even the latest CD includes only fsarchiver 0.6.2. What's the best way to stay current but also use fsarchiver from a USB key?

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by admin » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:37 pm

Don't boot with the 64bit kernel, it will make no difference. The binary will still be the 32bit one, since all the programs are only in 32bit to save space.

You should just use the most recent SystemRescueCd-1.3.5-beta:
http://beta.sysresccd.org/
I always provide beta SystemRescueCd versions with recent fsarchiver versions.

Also you can compile fsarchiver-0.6.5 on your current SystemRescueCd, and save the binary in a permanent file on your usb stick.
# tar xf fsarchiver-0.6.5.tar.gz
# cd fsarchiver-0.6.5
# ./configure && make
# ./src/fsarchiver -V

Or just download the precompiled binary: fsarchiver-bin-0.6.5.tar.gz.

Upgrading SystemRescueCd on USB should not be very complicated. Just replace all the files and run syslinux again.

cercatrova
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:05 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by cercatrova » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:25 am

I used the SystemRescueCd-1.3.5-beta3 which indeed has fsarchiver-0.6.5. Splitting worked fine (the percentage completed figure is a nice addition). Thank you. A couple of questions/observations:

1. The split files are of different sizes - does fsarchiver split on file boundaries?

2. What is regfile vs. regfilem?

3. A bug, I believe: when not using -o (overwrite) and a destination archive exists, one is indeed told that the archive exists and that it should first be removed. However, fsarchiver then removes the archive.

4. A stable version that handles ext4 would be a very welcome thing (with Ubuntu being installed as a single-ext4-partition system all over the place; partimage of course doesn't yet handle ext4, and even if it did the fsarchiver approach is more flexibie). Do you have any idea when that might be?

Thanks again.

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by admin » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:12 pm

1) The volumes can't all have exactly the same size. A block (256 kb when uncompressed by default) has to be entirely written in one single volume. So it splits if the size would be greater than the limit with the current block.

2) regfile is a normal regular file that contains one or multiple blocks for its data. The data of multiple small regular files are merged to make one large block that can be compressed in one go. You have better compression when you compress one block of 256KB instead of 256 blocks of 1KB.

3) I will check that

4) fsarchiver should work quite well with ext4. All the linux filesystems have a quite good support in fsarchiver. The ntfs support is less stable.

cercatrova
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:05 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by cercatrova » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:42 pm

Thank you for the answers. What I meant with the last point is that it would be nice to be able to confidently use fsarchiver for critical data, which one can't do yet if the "don't use it yet for critical data" message in the help output is accurate. Does that apply to all file system types? Or is support for ext3/ext4 with basic attributes (the most common use case?) stable enough that one can use it for critical data?

admin
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Re: Can't write archive

Post by admin » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:54 pm

It works quite well for me and I use fsarchiver for my own backups. But bugs have been reported and fixed in the last weeks, so it's not perfect. fsarchiver is quite recent. It's not as stable as tools that have been improved during the last 10 years.

admin
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Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 pm

Re: Can't write archive

Post by admin » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:20 pm

The problem you reported with the archive file being deleted should be fixed in 0.6.6 and there is a patch for 0.6.5.

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