How Easily to Backup Your Linux Box Using Rdiff-backup

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About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

This instructable will show you how to run a simple full featured backup and recovery system on linux using rdiff-backup and a usb drive.

Step 1: Assumptions

I am going to assume a system that uses yum for installation and have mounted you usb drive as /mnt//backup.

I use fedora, but you can use anything and just install rdiff-backup however you'd like.

Also it is available from download here: http://rdiff-backup.nongnu.org/

Step 2: Install Rdiff-backup

Install rdiff-backup
[root@HOST scripts]# yum install rdiff-backup

Step 3: Identify the Directories You Want to Backup

You can backup the whole system, but that may be overkill, I want to backup my /etc/ directory for any changes I may have made to named, sendmail, network, etc, /data and my home dirs.

Step 4: Automate

Clearly you don't want to do this by hand. We'll write a script.

First thing in the script, we will check to see the usb drive is mounted, and quit if not.
#!/bin/bash
#Script to backup to usb drive

BACKUPBASE="/backups"

#check to see if backup target is mounted.
if `df -h | grep $BACKUPBASE >/dev/null `
then
echo "Starting $0 `date`"
else
echo "ERROR: $BACKUPBASE not mounted"
echo "$0 exiting `date` "
exit 1
fi

Step 5: Write a Function

Next we will write a function to actually do the backup.

function backup {
DEST=$1$2
SOURCE=$2
echo "Src : $SOURCE"
if [-d $DEST]
then
echo "Dest: $DEST"
else
mkdir -p $DEST
echo "Dest: $DEST -created"
OPTS="--force"
fi

#Perform backup
rdiff-backup -v2 --exclude-special-files $OPTS $SOURCE $DEST
#Cleanup version files older than 4weeks
rdiff-backup -v2 --remove-older-than 4W --force $DEST
#Print a report of what we backed up and cleaned up
rdiff-backup --list-changed-since 0D23h00m $DEST
}

Step 6: Do Tell the Script Which Dirs to Backup

backup $BACKUPBASE /data
backup $BACKUPBASE /etc
backup $BACKUPBASE /usr/local
backup $BACKUPBASE /home

Step 7: The Whole Thing Together Now

#!/bin/bash
#Script to backup to usb drive

BACKUPBASE="/backups"

#Check to see if backup drive is mounted.
if `df -h | grep $BACKUPBASE >/dev/null `
then
echo "Starting $0 `date`"
else
echo "ERROR: $BACKUPBASE not mounted"
echo "$0 exiting `date` "
exit 1
fi

function backup {
DEST=$1$2
SOURCE=$2
echo "Src : $SOURCE"
if [-d $DEST]
then
echo "Dest: $DEST"
else
mkdir -p $DEST
echo "Dest: $DEST -created"
OPTS="--force"
fi

#Perform backup
rdiff-backup -v2 --exclude-special-files $OPTS $SOURCE $DEST
#Cleanup version files older than 4weeks
rdiff-backup -v2 --remove-older-than 4W --force $DEST
#Print a report of what we backed up and cleaned up
rdiff-backup --list-changed-since 0D23h00m $DEST
}

backup $BACKUPBASE /data
backup $BACKUPBASE /etc
backup $BACKUPBASE /usr/local
backup $BACKUPBASE /home

Step 8: Add to Cron

[root@HOST scripts]# crontab -e
10 1 * * * /usr/local/scripts/backup-rdiff.sh > /var/log/backup.log 2>&1

Step 9: Restore

To restore the most recent version you can simply copy the file out of the backup directory. If you want a version from 2 days ago:
rdiff-backup -r 2D /backup/etc/named.conf /etc/named.conf

Simple and very effective.

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    3 Discussions

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    admin

    9 years ago

    Hey, this is a great instructable and is very informative. Just one thing is missing... pictures! It really helps a lot when trying to follow directions so you should consider taking some photographs. Once you do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks! Thanks for the cool instructable and we hope to publish this soon!