I have a question about my Unix & Linux Stack Exchange post: Does Duplicity modify atime when backing up?

I was trying to post an answer to the abovementioned question. When posting my answer I got an error page instead, and now I cannot even visit that question, instead I'm redirected to an error page.

The answer I was trying to post follows after the <HR>

No, it's incorrect to say that a software application modifies the atime of a file. User-mode programs have almost no way to control whether the atime is updated. That is the responsibility of the operating system, or more specifically, the driver. Furthermore, the current default mount options on Linux will minimize timestamp updates so that they will have little impact on performance or longevity your .

The current situation on modern distributions is as follows:

  • Using the mount option noatime completely eliminates atime updates at the expense whatever utility is provided by maintaining atime metadata.
  • The default relatime option minimizes the issue
  • A recently-introduced option, lazytime should completely eliminate any remaining impact on SSD longevity from timestamp updates.
  • apparently it was a transient error because I can now visit the question and I see my answer was posted. Oct 30, 2018 at 21:42
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the problem resolved itself.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Oct 30, 2018 at 22:05

2 Answers 2


There was a bad build that got rolled back.

Copying Taryn's answer on MSE:

There was a bad build that was impacting the display of some questions. The build was rolled back and pages should be loading normally again.

We're still investigating the bug that caused the problem in the first place, but things should be working fine now.


Strange. Possibly the site went down for an update; that happens periodically and usually takes under a minute to complete.

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