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Old 09-12-2014, 04:01 AM   #1
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is tar still used for backup?

Hey guys,

is tar still used widely for backup, i know its very old, just wondered if its still used..i know tarballs are compressed tar files and that software used to come in this form, or still does (but is less popular these days) ...but as a backup technology is it still widely used in the industry??? or is rsync the standard for backups? they also talking about cpio and dump/ i need to know these well???

Last edited by sigint-ninja; 09-12-2014 at 04:05 AM.
Old 09-12-2014, 04:22 AM   #2
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I would forget about cpio unless you need to handle rpms. I don't have dump or restore installed, and can't claim familiarity.

Tar is used for backups, and used not/does not handle windows long filenames flawlessly. tar is ideal for tapes (Largely obsolete) and gathering things into one lump for compression. This is normally done by programs like pkzip in windows, but in linux compressors mostly just compress. Cheap usb hard disks have made compression unnecessary. I stick my backup on a 150G ext partition on a usb drive, with windows backups on other partitions. That said, I do not have massive collections of photos I don't look at or music I don't listen to.
Old 09-12-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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If your industry is big enough, tape libraries are still used:
Old 09-12-2014, 12:17 PM   #4
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i work in healthcare... some of the new hipaa regulations/healthcare reform laws are that we retain health records for 7 years. we use cron to tar/gzip stuff to an archive directory after 30 days, then off to tape it goes after another 45.
Old 09-12-2014, 01:06 PM   #5
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KDE's backup application, kbackup, uses tar for its backup files.
Old 09-12-2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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I don't worry about compression too much. I think I do gzip out of habit, but all my back up scripts use tar.
Old 09-12-2014, 03:55 PM   #7
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My backup scripts use rsync, because I like to have navigable "working" backups rather than a big binary blob. rsync also allows you to do incremental backups, which makes the process significantly faster.
Old 09-12-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sigint-ninja View Post
Hey guys,

is tar still used widely for backup, i know its very old, just wondered if its still used..
It may be old school but yes, tar is still popular and many still use it to transfer files for uploading and downloading. Also, tar is installed in many distros by default.

Like suicidaleggroll, I prefer rsync for full and incremental backups. Of course, you can do incremental backups with the find command and the -mtime option and pipe it through tar.

Last edited by Tux5000; 09-12-2014 at 04:19 PM.
Old 09-12-2014, 04:41 PM   #9
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sigint-ninja, all Slackware packages are made with tar (see makepkg script)
Old 09-13-2014, 12:10 PM   #10
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Tar also does incremental and full backups (no need for find).
Old 09-13-2014, 12:27 PM   #11
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I know that absence of backup is widely used in industry, at least in home computing industry. I never really used tar for backups, I rsync files to encrypted external HDDs and then move them in the city.


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