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Date:      Thu, 6 Dec 2018 02:56:02 +0100
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Paul Schmehl <>
Cc:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   Re: Advice on backups
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <BE8953A062425223C2B04E31@Pauls-MacBook-Pro.local>
References:  <BE8953A062425223C2B04E31@Pauls-MacBook-Pro.local>

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On Wed, 05 Dec 2018 16:29:28 -0600, Paul Schmehl wrote:
> 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. 
> 120518.websites.tgz)
> [...]
> 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.

A little suggestion that originates from ye olden times
when CVS was common:

Create a repository for your configuration files, use
directory structures and "common" for the individual
hosts. Keep track of changes you might appy. Make
backups of the CVS directory tree, typically as a
(compressed) tarball. With this method, you can
quickly access any host's configuration from any
(revision) date you need, and CVS commit messages
might help you find what you need, e. g., the reason
why you changed something. And if you deleted your
working copy accidentally, it's no problem to check
out a new instance from the CVS repository.

Today, people of course use Subversion or probably
Git, on GitHub... ;-)

> 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.

Make sure tar archives restore _all_ file and directory
properties as they are present in the source. The advantage
of a tar archive is that you can also obtain _selected_
parts from the archive, if you don't need the whole one.

For an exact 1:1 copy of filesystem content, I still
suggest using dump + restore. Those can also be used
comfortably via SSH. It is neccessary to pay attention
to dumping from live filesystems, i. e, those which are
in a r/w state (and not r/o or unmounted). See "man dump"
and "man restore" for details. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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