Remote backups of Unix machines

Eric Sisler esisler at
Fri Apr 14 15:45:40 GMT 2000

Duncan Hill <dhill at>

>My boss asked me to investigate a free (as in no cost) solution that
>would allow us to archive our AIX server onto the 12 gig tape drive
>sitting on our Linux server.
>I tried doing an SMB share with valid user set to root, but this
>apparently loses the permissions that the AIX box uses (everything is
>owned root/root), making it rather useless for backup and restore.
>Can SMB do what I need, or should I look at something like NFS?

I'm not sure I'd use SMB for this purpose, there are better ways of doing 
this using "native" unix tools.

1) NFS mount the AIX servers drives on the Linux server and back it up that 
way using tar, cpio or some other backup utility.  You'd initiate the 
backup from the Linux server this way.

2) Use rmt over rsh or ssh and start the backup from the client machine, 
again using tar/cpio/whatever.  You'd initiate the backup from the AIX 
server this way, although you could actually use rsh or ssh from the Linux 
box to kick the backup script on the AIX box off - this way you'd know the 
Linux server wasn't still using the tape drive.

Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks.  In either case, you'll 
probably want to backup the AIX box to a separate archive than the Linux 
box, although they can be on the same tape.


Eric Sisler
Library Computer Technician
Westminster Public Library
Westminster, CO, USA
esisler at

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