Backing up to DVDs

Rasjid Wilcox rasjidw at
Tue Nov 12 22:40:01 EST 2002

On Mon, 11 Nov 2002 2:39 pm, Bob Edwards wrote:
> Our backup system uses "rsync" (excellent code from Tridge and co.) which
> we customised, the customisation having been rolled back into rsync some
> years ago, namely the --backup-dir option.
> We backup to a live disk on a remote server (in another building on
> campus), export that back (read-only) back to our staff desktops using NFS
> and use the --backup-dir option to create "reverse incrementals" of all
> files modified or deleted each (week) day. The archive directory of reverse
> incrementals are also exported back to staff desktops, as well as being
> tar'd and compressed and scp'd back to our CD-ROM burning machine for
> regular (weekly) archival onto CD-ROM (we also leave live versions on the
> backup server for about 2 months or so, depending upon available disk
> space).
> One recent enhancement to this scheme (implemented by Steven Hanley) is to
> detect all archived files that are proper sub-files of their respective
> current version (ie. all files that have been appended to, such as e-mail
> folders and log files) and to remove the old version from the archive. This
> reduces the size of the archive each day by about 40%.
> Our system has been running reliably for about 3 years. The main advantages
> are: - cheaper than tape drives and tapes
>   - offsite always (no need to manually move or even handle tapes)
>   - almost no operator intervention required
> This last point is important as any staff member can recover any (daily)
> version of a file changed or deleted over the past 2 months or so from
> their desktop without operator intervention. After 2 months, files need to
> be recovered from the CD-ROMs, requiring mounting, uncompressing and
> untarring etc. the archives. Still generally easier than searching a tape.

Other resource on using Rsync for backups include:

* Perl Script - rsback - backup file trees in rotating archives

* Windows backup -
(Warning: I'm not sure how they have packaged this up, but multiple Cygwin 
dll's on a Windows system is a *bad thing*.)

* HOWTO - Easy Automated Snapshot-Style Backups with Linux and Rsync


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