I would like to create monthly backups of large chunks of data that make full use of the unix file system features (that is, regular permissions, symlinks, hardlinks, support of certain special characters, etc). I would like to back this data up to a (remote) filesystem that doesn't support some of these features.

My question is, how can I back up this metadata when the target filesystem doesn't support it? It seems like it wouldn't take much ruby/perl/younameit to create a small berkelydb or something of all of the "original data" (like permissions and where symlinks live) and a map from "original" filename to the target filename (in the case of unsupported characters).

Since this is relatively simple, and I imagine that the incidence of people wanting to back up their data to things like USB keys that they can access from other operating systems (in this particular instance, I am using a Xythos server <www.xythos.com> with a WebDAV remote filesystem), I imagine that this code has already been written, but maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms. I'd also like to not reinvent rsync if I can avoid it.

Since the target is webdav, I guess that I could use webdav properties to store this information (any ideas on how to automate that?), but I have to imagine that this has already been done for target filesystems like FAT32
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