An experiment in backup

Gene Heskett gheskett at
Fri Jan 16 05:40:14 UTC 2015

On Thursday, January 15, 2015 11:43:23 PM Kevin O'Gorman did opine
And Gene did reply:
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 7:57 PM, Brandon Vincent
> <Brandon.Vincent at>
> wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 8:19 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman at>
> > 
> > wrote:
> > > I'm quite clueless as to why this is happening.  I could sure use
> > > some
> > 
> > help.
> > 
> > Sorry, I didn't read your entire email before I responded.
> > 
> > /proc, /sys, /mnt, /media, /run, and /dev should not be backed up
> > and restored. I would exclude /tmp as well.
> > 
> > You should probably read [1].
> > 
> > [1]
> > 
> > I read it, and did not find anything I did not already know except
> > some
> assurance that my approach ought to work.
> Some of it is not relevant.  I'm backing up to 2-TB external drives,
> which can fit about a dozen backups each even if I don't clean
> anything up.  I worry about cleanup done just before a process like
> this -- it feel under pressure so it feels error-prone.
> > Brandon Vincent
> > 
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> >

I am a life long friend of amanda, the Advanced Maryland Network Disk 
Archiver.  It is in the repo's, but it requires you rethink your 
definition of "backup", because it does NOT do the whole system in one 
swell foop, but distributes the individual backups it does with an eye 
toward efficient use of the media.  It is as comfortable using a 
dedicated hard drive as it is using tape, and s much faster at restores 
from a hard drive as opposed to even an LTO4 tape library.  And the 
recovery/restore operations are as near to automatic as you can imagine 
because of its backup bookkeeping, it knows that if you want to restore a 
certain file, that it has to go get the last full level 0 backup of that 
file, knows where its at, and all subsequent level 1, 2, 3 or 4, 
difference backups.

I have been using it on every stable install I have done since 1998.  As 
this month old Wheezy install isn't quite fully configured yet, and I 
might yet need some of my old *buntu backups, it is not running yet, but 
using my helper scripts, it can do a bare metal, to a new drive restore 
of this nominally 80Gb of old pix/movies etc, in about 2 hours, restoring 
the system to the state it was in at 3am this morning before the drive 
failed.  Without my helper scripts, you lose one days records.

I'll be ready to restart doing the nightly backups of this install in 
another week or so.  The way I have it configured here, a backup cycle is 
4 days, so I have a full backup of anything that is never more than 4 
days old.

As has been mentioned, you do not backup those "directories" that are 
system dynamic, like /sys, /proc, any *./tmp and /dev.  Those are all 
recreated on bootup, and except for the tmp's, never exist in non-
volatile media.

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
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