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Date:      Wed, 05 Dec 2018 16:29:28 -0600
From:      Paul Schmehl <>
To:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   Advice on backups
Message-ID:  <BE8953A062425223C2B04E31@Pauls-MacBook-Pro.local>

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I manage a couple of servers on the internet. There are no backup or test 
servers, so I have to do everything on live systems that are serving 
webpages, handling mail, etc.

Historically, I've used rsync and ssh to backup server1 to server2 and vice 
versa. I decided I would prefer an offsite backup system in case both 
servers failed at the same time, and because server2 was running out of 
space because of backups.

So, I setup some scripts to create gzipped tarballs and transfer those to 
my Dropbox account. (I have plenty of space there.) I run the scripts 
daily, and the files are named with the date of the backup (e.g. 

On the webserver, I'm backing up /usr/local/www, /etc, and /usr/local/etc. 
I've also created a backup directory in my home directory where I put 
copies of all the scripts I run, plus a text file of crontab and a few 
other things. I then zipped that and copied it to Dropbox as well. I don't 
have a script for it, because those things don't change that often.

Am I missing anything important? I tested untarring one of the tarballs 
into my home directory, and if I understand it correctly, I would need to 
untar these in / if I ever need to restore anything.

Paul Schmehl, Retired
As if it wasn't already obvious, my opinions
are my own and not those of my employer.
"It is as useless to argue with those who have
renounced the use of reason as to administer
medication to the dead." Thomas Jefferson
"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very
intelligent person could believe in them." George Orwell

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