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Is it possible to extract some details from a file generated with the dump(8) command on a FreeBSD system? Preferably, I'd like to see the file sizes for each file inside, to see what exactly makes my incrementals so large.

I know there's the interactive mode with restore, but the most detail I can get out of it are inode numbers, which I find quite uninteresting.

Or maybe there's a way to mount a dump file as a loopback filesystem, that would be great too.

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Not familiar with BSD's version of dump, but on other systems, restore -Nt will list the files.

However dump/restore is a tool for backing up filesystems - not for backing up files. I would strongly recommend switching to using something else - tar, cpio are obvious choices, my own preference is afio.

Go talk to your business continuity provider - they spend a lot of time restoring backups.


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+1 switch to tar or cpio. Ultra-generic recommendation: tar is better for simple backups, cpio is better for complex backups (YMMV). – Chris S Jul 7 '10 at 12:26
In FreeBSD, -N has a different purpose, And regarding a different backup scheme, I'm working on that as we speak :) Not necessarily because of the issue I have with dump files, but as you point out, I need more granularity. – Bram Schoenmakers Jul 7 '10 at 13:24

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