Jarf v0.2

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Released: Jan 12, 2009
Updated: Jan 13, 2009 by kink
Dev status: Beta Help Icon

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Jarf v0.2 Readme

Martin Kinkelin, 13.01.2009

What is Jarf?
Jarf stands for "Just Another Rsync Front-end".
Rsync is a popular command-line tool for filesystem backup and synchronization tasks.
Jarf's aim is to provide a very simple and user-friendly solution for backup and restore operations on top of Rsync, which allows for an efficient synchronization algorithm and cross-platform availability. It may be used by your girlfriend to backup her home folder to her external hard drive or by an admin of a small company who uses Jarf to schedule daily backups of Windows workstation data to a central Linux server.
It is currently restricted to Windows, but might be ported to other operating systems supported by Mono.
Jarf consists in a GUI for the Rsync client functionality and a Windows service for the Rsync daemon. It is bundled with a minimum Cygwin-port of Rsync (executable and 2 Cygwin libraries).

What can it do?
Jarf is a very simple filesystem synchronization solution.
You may perform a recursive backup of a folder to either another folder (on a different hard drive), to a network share or directly to a remote machine's Rsync daemon. Both folders will then be synchronized efficiently by Rsync. You may select subfolders and files which are to be excluded from synchronization.
Backup tasks may be scheduled to run periodically.
A restore operation consists in synchronizing the local folder to the state of the backup.
Before applying any changes, a simulation (dry run) is performed to provide the user with the details about the pending changes, which need to be confirmed. At the end of each operation, Jarf writes an entry into the application event log, containing the Rsync output.

What is the server/daemon for?
Synchronization across the network should be done using a Rsync daemon on the remote machine hosting the backups.
If this was a Linux machine, the admin probably knows how to set it up.
For Windows machines, Jarf includes a tiny program wrapping the daemon into a Windows service which is started automatically on every boot. You still need to edit the config file (rsyncd.conf) manually though.

I need some advanced Rsync functionality.
Feel free to customize the Rsync command-line switches in Jarf.exe.config (it's an XML file, open it with any text editor), but leave the output untouched as it needs to be parsed. You may also skip the simulation before the actual operation.

Known limitations
Rsync cannot be used to save the ACLs (access control lists) of files and folders.
OpenSSL is not bundled with Jarf because it requires more Cygwin DLLs and some tools to use it properly. Therefore the synchronization traffic is NOT encrypted, so be sure to synchronize only across a local subnet and not across the internet!
Each text entry in the event log cannot exceed a total of 32766 characters. This may cause incomplete log entries if many files are synchronized.
A very small number of users may have a problem with the Cygwin DLL. It seems that if a Cygwin DLL is already loaded (due to another running Cygwin program), the bundled version will not get loaded. Hence there might be some issues if the versions do not match. The bundled version is a UTF8-patched DLL, so there might also be issues with special characters in paths.

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