[lug] Commercial rsync service?

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Sat Feb 4 00:21:35 MST 2006

Rob Nagler wrote:
> David L. Anselmi writes:
>> Doesn't it do some kind of versioning too?
> Uh, no.  It's really WebDA. ;-)  It's fortunate the architecture
> astronauts never finished that piece.  

"Architecture Astronauts"... bwahaha.  Nice.  I've got to use that one 
in a meeting.

 > Otherwise, I bet you WebDAV
> would be completely unusable.  As it is, you have to *not* implement
> the whole protocol to make it practical to use.  Here's some great
> text from RFC 2518: 
>    WebDAV servers that support locking can reduce the likelihood that
>    clients will accidentally overwrite each other's changes by
>    requiring clients to lock resources before modifying them.  Such
>    servers would effectively prevent HTTP 1.0 and HTTP 1.1 clients
>    from modifying resources.
> The funny part is that most WebDAV server implementations spend a
> tremendous amount of code on locking, that, as noted above, can't
> work. 

Yeah, I set up WebDAV to share Mac-style iCal calendars with my wife. 
It was an utter disaster if we both happened to have calendars open at 
the same time.

Wasn't super important to us, so I just turned it off and gave up on it, 
waiting for the killer calendaring app that never seems to arrive in 

> rsync is extremely efficient, because it compares file dates and sizes
> so I can update my 30K file home directory in a matter of minutes over
> normal broadband, encrypted.

Yup.  The "little" ham radio Linux project I volunteer with has about 
1200 active systems worldwide and it updates nightly with rsync to every 

The "master" machine has the golden copy, which is rsync'ed to four to 
eight (depending on who has donated bandwidth and time to set up the 
servers -- it changes from year to year) servers.  Then the client 
machines come get it with an rsync in the crontab nightly.

Only the changes made and released as part of the project get synced 
over.  Works great, and has been up and running for about four or five 
years now...

We never abuse our donated bandwidth that way... can't say the same for 
some of the end-users.  Had a guy in California ftp'ing all the CD 
images (custom Fedora Core 3 CD, super stripped-down) every night for 
months from a cron job.  Guy was also supposedly a sysadmin for a 
government agency too.

He and I had some very unkind words in e-mail about his attitude after 
he blamed the project for "making the FTP site available" after another 
sysadmin volunteering time for the project told him sternly to STOP 
doing it.

"Because it was there" was his justification for pulling a full copy 
every night without even so much as checking file timestamps or sizes. 
He even sent all his e-mail from his city work account.

Some people just don't get it, I guess.


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