Does file roller save busy files?

Asked by John Winterton on 2011-03-02

I would like to use file roller to completely archive a user account. If this is done from within the account (logged on) are busy files saved, or must this be done from another user account (admin) or the root (yecch!)?

Question information

Language:
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Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu file-roller Edit question
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Solved by:
John Winterton
Solved:
2011-03-03
Last query:
2011-03-03
Last reply:
2011-03-03

Applications can lock files in different ways. If an application read-locks a file, then other applications cannot read it, so file-roller will be unable to include it in the archive. This is not the case for *all* open files, but some files will be excluded, and it's possible that some of the ones that are will be important.

To create an archive of a user's home directory, that user should be logged out. You might have to run the archiving program (e.g. tar) as root. If you use a non-graphical archiving program, then you should be able to run as that user (with "sudo -u"). A graphical archiving program run this way would likely cause files in that user's home directory to get locked. If all the files recursively contained in a user's home directory are readable by other users, then you should be able to create the archive without changing your user identity.

If you want to run file-roller as root, a reasonable way to do that is to press Alt+F2, run "gksu nautilus", then navigate to /home, right-click on the folder you want to archive, and open it. (The Nautilus window created this way runs as root, so the applications launched from it run as root.) Remember to close that Nautilus window when you're done, since otherwise you might unwittingly use that window to perform operations you intend to perform as your own user.

John Winterton (jwinterton) said : #2

Thank you. I think that covers the question completely and confirms my suspicions. One tends to forget that some apps will read-lock a file.