Backup special items and metadata

Symlinks are archived as symlinks, rustic does not follow them. When you restore, you get the same symlink again, with the same link target and the same timestamps.

If there is a bind-mount below a directory that is to be saved, rustic descends into it.

Device files are saved and restored as device files. This means that e.g. /dev/sda is archived as a block device file and restored as such. This also means that the content of the corresponding disk is not read, at least not from the device file.

By default, rustic does not save the access time (atime) for any files or other items, since it is not possible to reliably disable updating the access time by rustic itself. This means that for each new backup a lot of metadata is written, and the next backup needs to write new metadata again. If you really want to save the access time for files and directories, you can pass the --with-atime option to the backup command.

Note that rustic does not back up some metadata associated with files. Of particular note are::

  • file creation date on Unix platforms
  • inode flags on Unix platforms
  • xattr information
Last change: 2024-02-14, commit: 5720dd8