system backups (was: Package database)

David Magda dmagda at
Sun Sep 8 18:52:46 UTC 2013

On Sep 6, 2013, at 12:23, Jim Ballantine <j.ballantine at> wrote:

> The backup in /var/backups was a copy of the current DB, so it was not
> usable, however there was/is and older backup that was not corrupt.  So I restored
> it into /var/db and then update that one.

Which is nice reminder to everyone about the importance that fact that a "proper" backup is a coherent copy of data on independent media. Ideally one would coherent copies going back in time over various periods in case earlier ones are corrupted.

It's good that this worked out for the OP, but this raises a question in my mind (as someone who works in IT): what things on FreeBSD are considered "system files" that need to be regularly backed up?

The simplest thing is to just backup all the files on every system, but are there more critical files. Most people would include /etc and user/personal data (e.g., /home) as important, but as we've learned in this thread, there are other files that are important for a properly working system. Is backing up all /var on the "critical" list? Only /var/db or /var/backups?

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