Rsync - no space left on device when there is.

I’m trying to backup my VMs to external HDD for offsite backup.  I’m using a 1 TB drive, and seem to only have 932 GB of data.  I clear the drive with an rm  -rf * beforehand then run the following:

[root@openfiler external]#  rsync --progress -va /mnt/storage/nfs/ocl_nfs_1/backups /mnt/external --exclude=ESXi-2-VCSA/ --exclude=ESXi-2-VCSA_1 --delete | mail -s "RSync Job Log" tony@oceancontractors.ca

It runs for a while, then….

rsync: writefd_unbuffered failed to write 4 bytes [sender]: Broken pipe (32)
rsync: write failed on "/mnt/external/backups/Antivirus/Antivirus-2013-01-17_04-00-03/Antivirus-flat.vmdk": No space left on device (28)
rsync error: error in file IO (code 11) at receiver.c(298) [receiver=3.0.3]
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (179 bytes received so far) [sender]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(635) [sender=3.0.3]

Running df –h against the USB drive shows me

/dev/sdc1             932G  289G  643G  31% /media/external

Running du -h against the source directory shows: 729G    /mnt/storage/nfs/ocl_nfs_1/backups

Am I missing some obvious RSYNC mystery, or is this a USB device too slow or something similar failure?
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clicker666Asked:
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woolmilkporcConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Seems that /mnt/external is just part of the root ( / ) filesystem and not on a volume of its own?
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woolmilkporcCommented:
Could it be that you hit your ulimit?

ulimit -f

to check.
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BlueComputeCommented:
Hard drive manufacturers count drive capacity in decimal bytes rather than binary bytes :(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix#Deviation_between_powers_of_1024_and_powers_of_1000

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=1000000000000+bytes+in+Gigabytes

EDIT: sorry, misread the question...
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clicker666Author Commented:
ulimited -f =unlimited. Darn, I was hoping it would be an easy thing.
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woolmilkporcCommented:
According to the rsync command you posted the target is "/mnt/external ", but the
drive /dev/sdc whose "df -h" you posted shows up as being mounted under "/media/external".

A typo? A mistake?
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clicker666Author Commented:
No, I think you're on to something.  I'm not sure which one is the real external HDD.  I saw different files on each.
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woolmilkporcCommented:
How can I help you finding it out?
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clicker666Author Commented:
It appears I have both a /media/external and a mnt/external. Both are in different spots. I believe that /media/external is correct because I used the following command to setup the drive:  mount -type ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /media/external.  So, I'm not really sure where /mnt/external comes from.  To make matters more confusing I created a file inside of each and they're NOT the same place.  They're not subfolders.. I don't know where they are.
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woolmilkporcConnect With a Mentor Commented:
cd /mnt/external
df .

What's in the last column?
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clicker666Author Commented:
cd /mnt/external
df .
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3             48860624   1939328  44315152   5% /


cd /media/external
[root@openfiler external]# df .
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdc1            976760032    417412 976342620   1% /media/external

So it seems that the first one is on my big array and I have no idea why it's even there.  So /media/external is the real one.
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clicker666Author Commented:
Just a quick follow up. I didn't have enough space on my USB hard drive to copy all my files.  I ended up writing a script that only selected the previous night's full backup.

My mount command turned out to be: mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /media/external.  This was initially quite confusing to me, as I accidentally kept writing /mnt/external in my backup command, which pointed to the wrong location.  I now understand how to mount and umount my external drives.  Thanks!
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