zfs send/receive as dump/restore alternative

Steve O'Hara-Smith steve at sohara.org
Mon Nov 14 11:14:34 UTC 2016

On Mon, 14 Nov 2016 12:46:57 +0700
Victor Sudakov <vas at mpeks.tomsk.su> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> I now run a couple of systems fully on zfs, and use e.g.
> "zfs send -Rv zroot at 2016-10-01 > /mnt1/2016-09-25.zfs" 
> for a full system backup to a remote file server.
> With restore(8), I could restore any separate filesystem or even a single
> file/directory from the dump, even interactively.

	As others have indicated the zfs stream is not designed as an
archive format but rather for efficient filesystem replication.

> How would you restore a) a single dataset or b) a single file from a
> replication stream package? I really need this mode of operation for
> undeleting users' files etc.

	Undoing user mistakes is what snapshots were designed for (among
other things). Install zfs-periodic to automate handling a set of hourly,
daily, weekly and monthly snapshots (in <mountpoint>/.zfs/snapshot/ with
nice clear names like hourly-2016-11-14-08). Then there's no need to go to
the backups for mistakes, just copy the old version from a suitable snapshot
and use send/receive to maintain a near-live disaster recovery copy
(preferably offsite).

Steve O'Hara-Smith <steve at sohara.org>

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