Which backup program should one use? Was Risks of backing up live mounted filesystems using dump(8)
I realized a while back that if one's filesystem is a rat's nest, then
one's backups will be a rat's nest as well, as will be any files
restored from backup.
So I devoted a great deal of time to organizing all of the filesystems
on all of my computers, and getting rid of stuff that did not really
need to be online. This had the added benefit from freeing up
hundreds of gigabytes of disk space.
Now I have a two-level backup scheme. Say for Dulcinea's files, I
will make a tarball of Dulcinea's source code, Dulcinea's financial
books and so on, with the tarballs having the date in their name:
I use the YYYY-MM-DD date format because an alphabetical listing will
be ordered by date as well.
This makes it trivially easy to get back just what I need should I ever need it.
I have three filesystems on my F11 box: /backup0, /backup1 and
/backup2. /backup0 is a partition on my internal RAID. It's not a
proper backup, but just a convenience. I always backup to /backup0,
then immediately rsync /backup0 to either /backup1 or /backup2,
whichever is actually connected at the time.
One of those two drives is on my desk, the other is in a safe deposit
box. Once a week, I switch them.
The reason I have /backup0 on an internal partition is to avoid having
to make two trips to the bank when I switch.
This isn't all automated yet, but I'm not far from there. I already
do have continuous, automated backup for my Subversion repository.
Whenever I check in new code, the Subversion hot-backup script backs
up the whole repository and drops the backup onto /backup0. A cron
job later copies it to the external drive.
Don Quixote de la Mancha
Dulcinea Technologies Corporation: Software of Elegance and Beauty.
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