What is the best/recomended/official way to backup VMs

Jarl Friis jarl at gavia.dk
Wed Aug 12 11:23:59 UTC 2009

brent timothy saner <brent.saner at gmail.com> writes:


> hey, jarl-
> this all depends on what /kind/ of backup you want. if you want
> versioned backups in regards to the files ON them, then an archiving
> backup system- something like boxbackup- running on a different VM or a
> different host altogether would be the way to go (and run the backup
> client daemon from inside the VM). this minimizes downtime, as the VM
> would not need to be down to make the backups.
> if, however, you want a bare metal image type backup (i.e. contingency
> in case it all hits the fan), then you can stop the vm and then copy the
> hard disk image (i'd also backup any associated configs/scripts) from
> the host (and i'd recomment tarballing and gzipping them).

Yes this is what I want.

> additionally, KVM supports something called "snapshotting" as i recall-
> i never delved very deeply into kvm so i may be mistaken, but i recall
> it supporting it with certain types of the virtual disk (i believe it
> does NOT work with the "raw" type. for anyone who knows better, please
> feel free to correct me).

Yeah. This is what "virsh save" is for I guess. However this is
broken in Jaunty:

So I am going for a scheduled down time and just 
virsh shutdown
make backup of disk-image
virsh start

Thanks for all the input.


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