USB HD based backup schemes

A. Hamilton-Wright andrew at
Sat Apr 26 21:13:32 UTC 2008

You haven't mentioned how large a USB drive you have available
to use for this scheme, but it sounds to me like your situation
can be summed up as follows:

- you have two machines to back up, one is remote, but both have
   consistent network accessibility

- you have a (removable) drive upon which you want to place regular
   backups, based on some use of dump/restore, and presumably this
   drive is large enough for all backup data, to be managed under
   some rotation scheme (old -vs- current directories, for example)

- the main question is how to collect and organize the data onto
   this (removable) drive on a machine remote from the one being
   backed up

If the above pretty much fits the bill, I would suggest a simple
script to be run out of cron to copy the data.  Keep in mind that
you can easily transfer the data directly from dump to your
remote machine by piping it into an ssh command.  On your dobby
machine, a command of the form:

 	dump 1nuLf - /my/data | ssh -x kreacher /path/to/some/handler/script

will present the dump output to a script run on the backup machine
that can presumably ensure sane handling of the incoming data and
potentially mount your USB device.  Passing the mount point on dobby
as an argument to your remote script will help you organize things
if you have set up multiple filesystems on dobby that you need to
dump separately.

Note that I am assuming here that you have made a zero level dump and
that it will be perpetually available in some safe place.

> 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.

As long as you are dumping whole filesystems, I don't really see how
you can "leave anything out" -- recovery is then simply a case of:
- boot off an install/live CD
- fdisk, label, newfs
- restore dump level 0, restore most recent dump level 1

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