Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some issues when restoring files using duplicity

I blogged a while back about how to do incremental encrypted backups to S3 using duplicity. I've been testing the restore procedure for some of my S3 backups, and I had a problem with the way duplicity deals with temporary directories and files it creates during the restore.

By default, duplicity will use the system default temporary directory, which on Unix is usually /tmp. If you have insufficient disk space in /tmp for the files you're trying to restore from S3, the restore operation will eventually fail with "IOError: [Errno 28] No space left on device".

One thing you can do is create another directory on a partition with lots of disk space, and specify that directory in the duplicity command line using the --tempdir command line option. Something like: /usr/local/bin/duplicity --tempdir=/lotsofspace/temp

However, it turns out that this is not sufficient. There's still a call to os.tmpfile() buried in the patchdir.py module installed by duplicity. Consequently, duplicity will still try to create temporary files in /tmp, and the restore operation will still fail. As a workaround, I solved the issue in a brute-force kind of way by editing /usr/local/lib/python2.5/site-packages/duplicity/patchdir.py (the path is obviously dependent on your Python installation directory) and replacing the line:

tempfp = os.tmpfile()

with the line:

tempfp, filename = tempdir.default().mkstemp_file()

(I also needed to import tempdir at the top of patchdir.py; tempdir is a module which is part of duplicity and which deals with temporary file and directory management -- I guess the author of duplicity just forgot to replace the call to os.tmpfile() with the proper calls to the tempdir methods such as mkstemp_file).

This solved the issue. I'll try to open a bug somehow with the duplicity author.


Sidnei da Silva said...

Hi Grig,

Did you try setting TMPDIR or TMP in the environment? I believe os.tmpfile() supports that, just like the tempfile module does.

Grig Gheorghiu said...

Hi, Sidney -- good idea, I'll try that.



Anonymous said...

Hi there

I have tried that with setting TMPDIR but i cant get it to work.

Could you please post the code you used ?