I too have a similar problem. I have a new laptop, which I back
up using rsync. The laptop is normally left switched on, and
connected via a 802.11G connection (usually at 24 or
48Mbits/sec). After I installed VMWare and created a couple of
machines with 4Gb disks (split into < 2Gb pieces, as VMWare is
capable of doing), the incremental backups started failing. I
tried to do a 'full' backup, but there was still some problem. I
restarted it about 15 times over 3 or 4 days, but each time a
failure. I plugged it into the ethernet (100Mbps), and the full
backup was completed in 38 minutes.
So, the problem may have something to do with the underlying network performance. I noticed that on the 802.11G network, the network utilization was only ever 25%, but on the 100Mbps Ethernet, it went above 95% as shown in the 'task manager' on WIndows.
This message is brief for your comfort.
Several backups of our machines started to fail repeatedly with
connection timeouts. All backups used to use rsyncd method. All
servers had plenty of files (150,000++), some pretty large
(below 2G, above 500M). The following was guessed:
* rsyncd needs _lots_ of memory, and sometimes failed with OOM.
This is pretty hard to see on either side because it gets logged
only into system logs.
* it seems that backuppc opens rsyncd connection and does several
tasks, trying to keep the connection open. some of these tasks
may require so much time that rsync(d) timeouts (and I have set
IO timeout pretty high).
* it is possible - though not proven - that rsyncd needs time to
process very large files and timeouts rsync side. this seems to
be unrelated to io timeout setting: it fails no matter what I set.
I changed to ssh+tar and the backup went on flawlessly.
Maybe this was user error, then FAQ could help to prevent that.
Maybe this is inherent problem of rsync, then FAQ should mention
that [memory problem is rsync's known problem for sure].
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