I don’t want to compress any file in the backup. How can I configure this?

When configuring storeBackup.pl, set option exceptSuffix to ‘.*’, which is the pattern for “match everything”.

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Where is the GUI?

Why does storeBackup not support any GUI (graphical user interface)?

There are several reasons, why storeBackup is command line driven:

  • If it’s possible, you should make your backups on a regular basis via an automatism, eg. via cron.
  • If you run storeBackup on a server, there probably is no gui. Or think about the dependencies to different versions of gui libraries.
  • If you want to restore data to a somehow corrupted system, perhaps the gui (if you had one running) does not start anymore. Then it’s fine to have a tool, which you can start from any command line or recovery CD. It also makes sense, to let storeBackup itself be part of the backup.
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I do not need that lateLinks stuff

I only want to make my backup to an external usb drive and don’t want to use this new option “lateLinks”. How can I do this?

Have a look at Example. You don’t have to care about this “high sophisticated option” (and storeBackupUpdateBackup.pl) if you do not use option lateLinks.

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Making a remote Backup with SSH (no NFS)

Under GNU/Linux, it is also possible to back up data over an SSH connection. This has the advantage that no separate network file system has to be configured (as it is the case for NFS).

In order to mount the target directory, the sshfs program has to be used. It is shipped with most distributions, but can also be obtained from http://fuse.sourceforge.net/sshfs.html.

The command to mount the remote directory /var/backup on the computer chronos as user “backup” to the target directory /mnt/target is:

# sshfs backup@chronos:/var/backup /mnt/target

Now storeBackup.pl only has to be configured to place the backup in /mnt/target. After the backup, the target directory can be unmounted with fusermount -u /mnt/target.

SPEEDING UP A REMOTE BACKUP OVER SSHFS

sshfs uses an individual network request for each individual hardlink that has to be set and for each single file that has to be deleted. Since the latency for any network operation is generally several magnitudes larger than for any local operation, backing up to a remote system can therefore be very slow even if the network bandwith is as high as for a local harddisk.

For this reason, it is strongly recommended to use the lateLinks and doNotDelete options for remote backups. Their usage allows to perform the hardlinking and deletion operations on the remote system only and generally speeds up backups by a factor of 10 to 75, depending on the amount of changed data and the latency of the network.

The general procedure is as follows:

  1. Mount remote system:
    # sshfs backup@chronos:/var/backup /mnt/target
    
  2. Do the backup:
    # storeBackup.pl --backupDir /mnt/target --lateLinks \
         --doNotDelete [other options]
    
  3. Unmount remote system:
    # fusermount -u /mnt/target
    
  4. Set hardlinks on remote system:
    # ssh -T -l backup ebox.rath.org \
        'storeBackupUpdateBackup.pl --backupDir /var/backup'
    
  5. Delete old backups on remote system:
    # ssh -T -l backup chronos \
        "storeBackupDel.pl --backupDir /var/backup [other options]"
    

Note that this requires that storeBackup is also installed on the remote system.