--- Comment #2 from Roland Haberkorn <> ---
I did some further investigation... 
First thing to add: The ext4 file systems are hard-linked differential rsync
backups of the real data on XFS.
I changed the testcase by deleting the --link-dest option.
When rsyncing from an XFS, the rsync process on the client uses about 3% RAM
(of total 8GB). When rsyncing from an ext4, it uses up to about 50% RAM.
This picture totally changes when I delete the option -H. In this case also
copying from an ext4 uses only less than 2% RAM. 
My guess would be that perhaps -H breaks the incremental recursion when copying
from an ext4.

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