Anyone used rsync scriptology for incremental backup?

Nikolay Denev ndenev at
Thu Oct 30 01:52:46 PDT 2008

On 30 Oct, 2008, at 07:00 , Freddie Cash wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 1:50 AM, Andrew Snow <andrew at>  
> wrote:
>> In this way, each day we generate a batch file that lets us step  
>> back one
>> day.  The diffs themselves, compressed with gzip, and extremely space
>> efficient.  We can step back potentially hundreds of days, though  
>> it seems
>> to throw errors sometimes when backing up Windows boxes, which I  
>> haven't
>> tracked down yet.
>> But to be honest, soon you can save yourself a lot of hassle by  
>> simply using
>> ZFS and taking snapshots.  It'll be faster, and with compression  
>> very space
>> efficient.
> That's exactly what we do, use ZFS and RSync.  We have a ZFS
> /storage/backup filesystem, with directories for each remote site, and
> sub-directories for each server to be backed up.
> Each night we snapshot the directory, then run rsync to backup each
> server.  Snapshots are named with the current date.  For 80 FreeBSD
> and Linux servers, we average 10 GB of changed data a night.
> No muss, no fuss.  We've used it to restore entire servers (boot off
> Knoppix/Frenzy CD, format partitions, rsync back), individual files
> (no mounting required, just cd into the .zfs/snapshot/snapshotname
> directory and scp the file), and even once to restore the permissions
> on a pair of servers where a clueless admin "chmod -R user /home" and
> "chmod -R 777 /home".
> Our backup script is pretty much just a double-for loop that scans a
> set of site-name directories for server config files, and runs rsync
> in parallel (1 per remote site).
> We we looking into using variations on rsnapshot, custom
> squashfs/hardlink stuff, and other solutions, but once we started
> using ZFS, we stopped looking down those roads.  We were able to do in
> 3 days of testing and scripting what we hadn't been able to do in
> almost a month of research and testing.
> -- 
> Freddie Cash
> fjwcash at
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Do you experience problems with the snapshots?
Last time I tried something similiar for backups the bachine
began to spit errors after a few days of snapshots.

Nikolay Denev

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