cp -ar to external harddrive

Paul Howarth paul at city-fan.org
Tue Dec 6 08:26:09 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2005-12-06 at 07:33 +0000, Bryan Hepworth wrote:
> Hi Everyone
> I'm trying to back up /home to an external hard drive (maxtor usb) and
> wanted to keep the file permissions but when I do a
> cp -ar /home /media/usb it complains about not being able to do the
> permissions and they all go across as root instead. 
> Anyone know where I'm going wrong?

Your USB drive is probably formatted as FAT32, which has no concept of
file ownership or permissions.

Options are to reformat the USB drive as a filesystem such as ext2 or
ext3 that supports Unix-style owners and permissions, or to use a
different tool to do the backup, such as tar, where the permissions can
be encapsulated within the backup target file, e.g.

cd /home; tar cf /media/usb/home.tar .


Paul Howarth <paul at city-fan.org>

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