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SubjectRe: [PATCH] SMP race in ext2 - metadata corruption.

[ linux-kernel added back as a cc ]

On Fri, 27 Apr 2001, Neil Conway wrote:
> I'm surprised that dump is deprecated (by you at least ;-)). What to
> use instead for backups on machines that can't umount disks regularly?

Note that dump simply won't work reliably at all even in 2.4.x: the buffer
cache and the page cache (where all the actual data is) are not
coherent. This is only going to get even worse in 2.5.x, when the
directories are moved into the page cache as well.

So anybody who depends on "dump" getting backups right is already playing
russian rulette with their backups. It's not at all guaranteed to get the
right results - you may end up having stale data in the buffer cache that
ends up being "backed up".

Dump was a stupid program in the first place. Leave it behind.

> I've always thought "tar" was a bit undesirable (updates atimes or
> ctimes for example).

Right now, the cpio/tar/xxx solutions are definitely the best ones, and
will work on multiple filesystems (another limitation of "dump"). Whatever
problems they have, they are still better than the _guaranteed_(*) data
corruptions of "dump".

However, it may be that in the long run it would be advantageous to have a
"filesystem maintenance interface" for doing things like backups and


(*) Dump may work fine for you a thousand times. But it _will_ fail under
the right circumstances. And there is nothing you can do about it.

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