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Date:      Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:28:32 -0600
From:      Paul Schmehl <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   Re: Advice on backups
Message-ID:  <EF539AF0572550873786172C@Pauls-MacBook-Pro.local>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <BE8953A062425223C2B04E31@Pauls-MacBook-Pro.local> <>

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--On December 6, 2018 at 2:56:02 AM +0100 Polytropon <> 

> 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. :-)

Thanks for your suggestions. I use CVS on all conf files, so those are 
captured in the tarballs since they reside under the conf directories.

I'll take a look at dump and restore. One concern I have is that I'm 
creating the backups on the system, so use of space during the process is a 

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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