Backing Up Linux Systems

Posted by Scott on Sep 29th, 2007

I’ve used a decent number of backup systems on the Linux platform. From my UNH SysAdmin days, AMANDA was the system of choice, and we backed up to DLTs. Since then I’ve had the luxury of not needing solutions that are quite so enterprise-y. Mostly I’ve gotten to know rsync pretty well and integrated it into some home-grown scripts.

Recently I came across two open source backup packages which are based on rsync but give you more power, rsnapshot and BackupPC. The latter is fairly complex and geared toward enterprise environments, and even has a web-based interface for viewing backup reports. But for backing up an individual workstation with an external backup drive, rsnapshot can’t be beat. Its configuration file is easy to understand and get going with in minutes, and it’s well tailored for straightforward backup applications, with a bit of flexiblity where it makes the most sense (rsnapshot works well across networks for remotely backing up systems as well). Both of them make wise use of hardlinks to dramatically decrease the size of consecutive backup sets.

Check these apps out if you haven’t heard of them and want to look to simplify your backup system.

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