Linux Backup Administration

Ted Kaczmarek tedkaz at
Sat Jul 2 01:28:18 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-07-01 at 17:58 +0000, James Marcinek wrote:
> For users of Fedora Core releases <fedora-list at> wrote: 
> > I realize that this is off-topic. Hopefully you will forgive
> > me for imposing on you like this.
> > 
> > I'm new to *nix administration. I've used *nix installations
> > for years in various incarnations (Xenix, Solaris, HPUX et al.)
> > but not on the admin side. Backup is still something of a
> > mystery to me. It seems that there are two schools of thought
> > 
> > cpio
> > tar
> There are other open source solutions which can be used:
> Mondo (
> > 
> > It also seems that each side thinks the other side is nuts.
> > It also seems that using links (soft or otherwise) is not
> > well handled by either technique.
> > It also seems that everyone agrees that using tape is the
> > Way To Go(tm).
> > 
> > Can anyone tell me whether my impressions on this matter
> > be correct? Is there a good tutorial which can give me
> > relative pros and cons of cpio style vs. tar style backup?
> > How about which directories actually need backing up?
> > How about how does one actually recover when the worst
> > happens?
> > How about disc upgrades? I suppose that /etc/fstab needs to be
> > new, but /etc/hosts needs to be restored. How does one go
> > about doing these "partial" restores to get the machine
> > back running again?
> > 
> > I also don't want to use a tape drive, being (as some are)
> > on a restricted budget, both for time to learn new stuff
> > and monetarily, being among the Great Telecom Layoff. There
> > are very nice Windows programs which create initial/disaster
> > recovery CDs which can completely rebuild a system to the way
> > it was when initially created, and then do backups to CD after
> > that. *nix seems not to have any such concept.
> If you just want to make ISO's I would recommend using Mondo. You can make an
> image and restore to CD's and there's also a rescue disk for restoring, etc
> > 
> > Anyway, thanks for you time.
> > 
> > Mike

You can use almost any of the commercial snapshot products to restore
almost any OS their is. Rsync is also a wonderful tool that will handle
many requirements. I use rsync to backup Open Exchange's database and
filespool in a smaller shop. In many cases  and especially with postgres
you could rsync a primary db to a backup db faster than any other
methods. I didn't believe it till I tried it.

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