Backup question

Bill Moran wmoran at
Wed Jun 9 08:04:35 PDT 2004

Karen Donathan <donathan at> wrote:

> Hello.
>      What is the best way to back up the html directory?  We do not have a
> tape drive.  Is there a way to have an automated .tar file created and
> sent as email so I could save it on another server?  Any help would be
> great!

Ah ... a neophyte unwittingly asking to be taught the magic of shell-scripting.

Yes, you can do everything you ask.  The trick is to write a shell script to
automate it for you, then add the shell script to cron to be automagically
executed on a schedule.

Here's my suggestion:
1) Study the attached shell script, it backs up to a seperate HDD, but it'll
   give you an idea of how things work
2) Read up on "man mail" to learn how to use the mail program from a shell
3) Write your own and test it from the command line.
4) Add a cron entry to automate it.
5) Once you're getting good backups, look into using rsync to make the process
   even smoother.

<begin simple backup shell script>
# Takes the files in /backup/source and bzips them into an
# archive in /backup/archive
# Also deletes archive files older than a certain amount
DATE=`/bin/date "+%F"`
/usr/bin/tar cyf /backup/archive/backup-${DATE}.tbz /backup/source > /dev/null 2>&1
/usr/bin/find /backup/archive -mtime ${MAXAGE} -delete
<end simple backup shell script>

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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