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. May Meeting: HowTo Deploy Rails Applications

Posted by Scott on May 14th, 2007

Tomorrow night at the Portsmouth Public Library I’ll be giving a presentation on how to deploy a ruby on rails application.

I’ll be discussing setup of a deployment environment based on Apache 2.2, mod_proxy_balancer, Mongrel, and MySQL. Then I’ll be giving an introduction to Capistrano, a wonderful ruby tool for automating the deployment of your rails application from source code repository to production server(s). Plus, there will be free book giveaways!

For more details and directions, check out the NHRuby wiki.

Care and Feeding of ClamAV

Posted by Scott on Apr 17th, 2007

I recently upgraded the ClamAV mail virus scanner on my mail server, and discovered nearly a day later that email was being queued up but not delivered (oops!). The logs were pretty clear as to the cause:

ClamAV Perl module not found, did you install it?

It turns out that somewhere between version 0.88.4 and 0.90.2, the Mail::ClamAV perl module became a requirement. Fortunately I was all set a few minutes later with a quick invocation of cpan2rpm, and now I’m watching my mail spool slowly shrink from 10 MB.

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