Hi All;

I regularly use dump(8) with snapshots to back up my server.

While this seems to have been working perfectly well so far,
upon (re)reading the man page for dump(8), I have noticed a
somewhat scary pair of lines in the paragraph describing
the option for -C <cachesize> (emphasis with stars mine):

        [Use of this option] will greatly improve performance
        at the cost of ***dump possibly not noticing changes in
        the file system*** between passes.

        ***It is recommended that you always use this option when
        dumping a snapshot.***

Does anyone know what, exactly, this means?

In particular, is the first statement actually trying to say:

        Use of this option will greatly improve performance;
        however it may be that changes made to the filesystem
        made between _dump_ passes will be ignored.  ***The resulting
        dumped filesystem image will be consistent and correct
        based on a timestamp no later than that of the point
        at which the dump was started***.

Is this a fair statement?  Is this guaranteed?  Or are we
trying to say that:

        The resulting filesystem will contain images of individual
        files based on a timestamp no later than that of the
        point at which the dump was started, however any individual
        files modified after the dump begins may be stored using
        any of the version that appeared written to disk during
        the period of the dump.

As far as the second line goes, I am not at all clear on what
this is trying to say.  Why is the cache recommended?  For
speed?  Stability?  Output correctness?  In particular, if a
snapshot dump is made without a cache option, is it potentially

In particular, if the second attempt above is more true than
the first, it seems to me that we should _not_ recommend the
use of a cache with snapshots, as it seems to erode the utility
of the snapshot itself.  It is for this reason that I am
suspecting that there is more here than meets the eye, which
is why I am keen to make sure that this is clear.

I am very happy to put in an update to the docs if we can make
sure that we know exactly what we are trying to say here.


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