I have a small backup bash script that I wrote for my computer at work. I have copied the script into /etc/rc0.d/ and called it K01backup so it is executed before anything else upon shutdown. It backs up all the data from my computer (running Ubuntu 14.04LTS) and my working copies and a virtual machine located on a separate internal SSD to an external hard drive and adds the log output to files in each folders.

Here is the script:



date +%d.%m.%Y/%H:%M:%S >> ${LOGPROJ}
rsync -avvx --progress --no-whole-file ${PROJORIG} ${DESTROOT} >> ${LOGPROJ}
date +%d.%m.%Y/%H:%M:%S >> ${LOGPROJ}

echo "STARTED" > ${LOGVM}
date +%d.%m.%Y/%H:%M:%S >> ${LOGVM}
rsync -avvx --progress --no-whole-file  ${VMORIG} ${DESTROOT} >> ${LOGVM}
echo "FINISHED" >> ${LOGVM}
date +%d.%m.%Y/%H:%M:%S >> ${LOGVM}

echo "STARTED" > ${LOGALL}
date +%d.%m.%Y/%H:%M:%S >> ${LOGALL}
rsync -avvx --progress --no-whole-file --exclude "/media/*" --exclude "/indel/*" ${ALLORIG} ${DESTALL} >> ${LOGALL}
echo "FINISHED" >> ${LOGALL}
date +%d.%m.%Y/%H:%M:%S >> ${LOGALL}

Then I ran sudo chmod +x /etc/rc0.d/K01backup to make it executable. At first the script took roughly an hour to execute and it all worked well. But for a little while now, I can see in the log files that the script started (presumably started again) an hour after I left work and all the files were already up to date, so it only took about a minute to run.

Does anybody know what I might have done wrong?


The README in that directory states that scripts in that directory are only called once on poweroff (and not on reboot).

With a simple test program


date >> $LOG
echo $* >> $LOG

I noticed that one time the program was actually called twice, once without a parameter and once with the parameter 'stop'. I have however not been able to reproduce it.

I would suggest to log the actual invocation parameters to the program as well and in the script test for $1 being stop.

It is also more customary to put this program as backup in /etc/init.d and make a link from /etc/rc0.d/K01backup to that script, but that should not influence its operation in any way. Any tools managing such entries work with creating/deleting these links.

Based on trying out this basic script the OP found that there was a backup file from editing the file: /etc/rc0.d/K01backup~ that got executed as well. Putting the backup file in /etc/init.d/ from the start, and making a link would have prevented this from occuring (independent of whether there would be a /etc/init.d/backup~ file or not).

  • Yes, I am aware that the scripts in this directory are only executed on poweroff but not on reboot, that was on purpose. I will execute the test script during lunchtime (in ca. 1h) and add the results, thank you. Also I moved the files to /etc/init.d and created the symlinks. – David Wright Dec 9 '14 at 10:14
  • @DavidWright I had not played with this before and only realised that rebooting did not invoke the script at all, so that was more a note to myself (and any others trying this out). – Anthon Dec 9 '14 at 10:29
  • I tried executing the test script and changing the mode of the backup script to -x. Since shutdown still took far too long for just such a small test script I suspected that the backup script was still running. Upon closer inspection of all the rc*.d folders I realised that the backup file generated by the text editor /etc/rK01backup~ was also executable. Ever since I deleted it, only the test script was executed on shutdown, and it was only executed once. Thus the reason for the symbolic links! Thank you very much for your help. – David Wright Dec 9 '14 at 12:07
  • 1
    @DavidWright I will put that in the answer, that makes it easier for people to find out that this was the problem. All the more reasons to use links only in the /etc/rc0.d – Anthon Dec 9 '14 at 12:13

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