USB HD based backup schemes

David N davidn04 at
Sat Apr 26 21:05:56 UTC 2008

2008/4/27 Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey at>:
> I am hoping that this is on-topic for the questions list.  If not, I
> apologize.
>  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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We used to use RSnapshot to backup to an
external disk, its a great tool that also does incremental via hard
links which is a plus.
Its done via rsync, so to recover, you have to reinstall the base OS
and rsync the files back to get it up and running again. It may have
problems locking active files, I've never tested it with a DB before.
But since then, we've moved to bacula.

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