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Old 04-24-2010, 07:54 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2010
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Archlinux
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which backup tool ?


I'm looking for a backup tool on my (arch)linux.

On the archlinux wiki, I've found this list : backup programs. There is so many program I don't know which one choose and when I search review on the web I still found several others which looks great.

I'm looking for something to do incremental backup (save disk space and time), easy to recover and manipulate the backups. I'd like something easily customisable to do stuff (with bash script maybe) like "save my system every week, delete after two months", "save my home folder every day except the following folders, don't follow the links (to the partition or another) but keep them", "do incremental backup every x and a full backup every y", "save x every day, delete after after a week but keep one backup one week, two weeks, one month and three months old",...
I'm using only linux so I don't need a cross-system solution.
I prefer the command line tools as it can be scripted easily but if a GUI do everything I want, it's even better.

I tried rsync some times ago. It's a great tool but I had problems to keep the users and permissions. Also rsync doesn't allow to recover something else than the last backup (stop me if I'm wrong).

I heard a lot about rdiff-backup but never tried. Advantage to be able to recover previous backup.

In the wiki, there is link-backup. Never heard about it but it looks great, I may test it. Someone knows it ?

Unison : seen some good reviews. It has bidirectionnal synchronisation (feature, I don't really need).

rdup : another unknown program (based on hdup, like duplicity but looks more powerful). I like the spirit of the program "not invent the wheel again and again" so instead of doing the backup, it uses another unix tool to do that. It can do compression and encryption (waw nice). Problem, it copy the full file and not the difference (but if one backup fail, it's not so much a problem them). If someone has tested it, I'd really like to heard comments.

What do you use and why ? Thank you to develop your point and explain the main feature of the program compare to another.
Old 04-24-2010, 08:45 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Canton, MI
Distribution: CentOS, SuSE, Red Hat, Debian, etc.
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I use and recommend backuppc. It has too many features for me to list.

The main things I like about it is that it is very efficient (about data
transfers and disk usage), it is completely automated (even for servers
or workstations that or not on the network occasionally), it is easy to
see versions of old files, and it has a web interface (no need to do
special scripting, although it is an option).
Old 04-24-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2007
Location: Sydney
Distribution: RHEL, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, OS X
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Thumbs up

rsnapshot is also a decent backup tool, it is based on rync.

These links might be useful for you.
Old 04-24-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Solaris 9 & 10, Mac OS X, Ubuntu Server
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It's interesting that there really aren't that many core backup utilities. All the solutions mentioned above are scripts based on rsync. There's also dd, dump, tar, and cpio. There are different versions of tar (gnutar, star), and sometimes more than one of those tools work together (e.g. dump or tar over an ssh tunnel and dd the output stream to tape on the other end, or mkisof and do a tar backup into that and then dd that to a CD). Even full blown network backup software can be based on those (Amanda uses those native tools).

Of course, things can get more complicated with raid, snapshots, etc. But it still falls back to a few basic tools. Raid makes your data more secure, but it's not backup. Snapshots allow you to bring back an older version of a file, but you still need to do backups. Rsnapshot runs rsync to another drive and incorporates snapshots over time on that other drive. BackupPC does something similar and gives a web interface for managing multiple clients and also handles decuplication. Then you could copy those to CD, tape, or another removable drive to keep somewhere else ("off site") for added security.

Check out the links at If you want to dig more into all things backup, check out Backup and Recovery by W. Curtis Preston or the companion web site, BackupCentral.

Last edited by choogendyk; 04-24-2010 at 01:54 PM.
Old 07-24-2012, 04:53 AM   #5
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
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Try this list


backup, incremental

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