ZFS backups: retrieving a few files?

Andriy Gapon avg at freebsd.org
Mon Nov 22 12:21:35 UTC 2010

on 22/11/2010 13:35 Andrew Reilly said the following:
> The troubling aspect of this plan is that it would seem that
> grabbing just a few files would require space in the working
> zpool equivalent to the whole backed-up file system, for the
> zfs receive of the snapshot.  Contrast this with restore, which
> had a nice interactive (or command line) mode of operation that
> could retrieve nominated files or directories, requiring only
> space for the results.  Is there any similar tool that can
> operate on a ZFS "send" serialization?  It would seem that the
> information must be "in" there somewhere, but I've not heard of
> it.
> Clues?  How does everyone else manage this?

What I do is keep the snapshots for long enough and just retrieve the files from

That is, snapshots - for the "clumsiness case", backups - for the disaster case.

Andriy Gapon

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