Disabling atime

Robert Nichols rnicholsNOSPAM at comcast.net
Fri Aug 10 03:45:18 UTC 2007

Les Mikesell wrote:
> John Reiser wrote:
>> Les Mikesell wrote:
>>> I'm not sure anyone has mentioned what are probably the biggest uses of
>>> atime:
>>>   (2) as an indication that files have never been used and can probably
>>> be deleted.   Since most backup operations act as a read, this tends to
>>> not be very useful.
>> Serious backup systems (programs designed for the purpose) save and
>> restore the old value of atime.  'tar' has --atime-preserve.  cpio has
>> --reset-access-time.
> Unfortunately those do more damage than good, since incremental backups 
> need to be based on ctime changes and resetting the atime updates ctime.

That's why my backup scripts temporarily remount the filesystem with the
"noatime" option and restore the previous state of that option afterward.

Bob Nichols     "NOSPAM" is really part of my email address.
                 Do NOT delete it.

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