USB HD based backup schemes

Jeffrey Goldberg jeffrey at
Sat Apr 26 20:26:55 UTC 2008

I am hoping that this is on-topic for the questions list.  If not, I  

I have a couple of FreeBSD systems, and I must confess that I haven't  
set systematic back-ups of them.

I've taken a quick look at both the Bacula and Amanda documentation,  
but for reasons below I'll list why I don't think that they are idea  
for my rather simple situation.

Each system has less than 20G to be backed up, including OS and  
ports.  One of the systems, dobby, is physically difficult to get to.   
I would like dobby to be a network client for backup.  The other,  
kreacher, is more conveniently placed, and actually has a cool little  
USB hard-drive drive dock.  I've tested that and it works.  I'd like  
this other machine

So far, what I've been doing is running level 0 dumps on both kreacher  
and dobby.  In each case, I've had enough space in /tmp to create dump  
files in /tmp.  When done on kreacher, I've copied them over to a USB  
drive.  The ones from dobby I've scp'ed over to kreacher.

At worst I could script this, but it I can't be sure I'll always have  
the space in /tmp.  I need to get the mounting of the USB drive clean  
and stuff like that.  Also, always running Level 0 dumps is bad for a  
number of obvious reasons.

My needs aren't to be able to always have the ability to recover some  
file to the state it was a week ago Thursday.  (I wouldn't mind that,  
but that's not my primary goal).  My primary goal is disaster  
recovery:  In the event of a disk crash, fire, or I really mess up the  
system.  Kreacher will shortly be running mysql-server with a couple  
of very small databases.  Otherwise this are pretty static servers  
(light mail, DNS, DHCP, light HTTP).  Neither machine can hold  
additional disks internally or is otherwise expandable.

Both Amanda seems designed for back-up to tape.  Bacula, frankly,  
seems too complicated.

I'm sure that I could roll my own with dump or such, but I'm sure that  
I would leave important things out and that this has already been done  
by people who are smarter and more experienced than I am.  So  
recommendations please.

Jeffrey Goldberg              

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