[Techtalk] backing up to vfat

Miriam English mim at miriam-english.org
Mon Nov 30 13:19:39 UTC 2015

Hi folks,

I prefer to format my flash drives to ext2, or ext4 without a journal, 
but I often need to read my files on non-linux computers in which case I 
have to use vfat formatted flash drives and just put up with the 
annoying problems of that filesystem (upper-lower-case blind, doesn't 
allow links, screws up attributes).

One of the problems is that for updating my backups I use
cp -avu <source> <destination>

On a linux-formatted drive this works nicely, not touching files that 
haven't been altered and only overwriting files that have changed. 
Unfortunately this isn't so with vfat-formatted drives, where it 
overwrites everything. This can end up taking a long time, which is 
really annoying if only a couple of files have changed out of hundreds, 
and is not good for the flash drive as it lessens the lifetime of the 
drive. Does anybody know of a command that would work the way I want for 
vfat? Or will I have to write a script that checks the date and filesize 
for each file?


	- Miriam

If you don't have any failures then you're not trying hard enough.
  - Dr. Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Website: http://miriam-english.org
Blogs:   http://miriam-e.dreamwidth.org

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