Why don't you use a backup system like dirvish? It has served me well for quite some time now.
Otherwise (or also with dirvish) you will need to exclude device and virtual files like those, maybe in a exclude file (e.g. rsync_exclude.txt):
path/to/directory/** #to exclude every file under directory
# unfortunately no regular expressions...
and then run with
rsync --exclude-from=rsync_exclude.txt ...
You can look up the dirvish docs, but i found rsync quite challenging to get it to do exactly what i want...
Always mention at least your distribution/version! You can add it in your signature if you don't want to always type it. ;-)
Ubuntu 5.10 with custom kernel (2.6.16-suspend2),
Debian Sarge 3.1 and Etch
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