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Old 01-20-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Mint 11.11, Xubuntu 11.11
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rsync or dump

I have setup a backup system for my computer (wish I did this BEFORE I lost my data...) with an online company 'iBackup' and they gave me directions on using 'rsync' and it worked fine.

When would one use 'dump' vs 'rsync'? It is my understanding the rsync does not work for tapes and dump does; what are the pros and cons to each when deciding on a backup strategy?


Old 01-20-2006, 03:20 PM   #2
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"dump" is like the "dd" command. It works with raw binary. Creates an "image" so to speak. Roughly analagous to what Ghost, DriveImage or TrueImage do for Windows. You cannot pick out and restore individual files from a dump. It's all or nothing. The whole image or none of it. I believe the Windows equivalents I mentioned probably DO allow you to pick out individual files under some circumstances, but "dump/restore" and "dd" will not.

rsync, on the other hand, copies individual files (and directories). It does not produce an "image". So if you accidently deleted one file you could restore just that one file from a rsync backup. Think of rsync as just a fancy copy command.

You might want to "dump" filesystems that rarely change and you would want to quickly restore after a catastrophic event. Possibly / and /boot. But you might desire the rsync individual file flexibility for a backup or /home however. That way when a user calls and says they accidently deleted an important file you can leave /home untouched except for that one file. You'll probably want overlap from both backup strategies. Quickly restore a working-but-not-perfect system from the latest dump, and then catch up on the latest changes you've made to config files from the latest rsync backup.

Last edited by haertig; 01-20-2006 at 03:21 PM.


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