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I need help choosing a backup solution for a server from amongst the tools that I've read about recently (rsnapshot, amanda, clonezilla, rsync, dd, duplicity, bacula...).

The setup:

  • [1] One disk (a RAID array actually) with the live system (Ubuntu Server 10.0.4) running on it.
  • [2] Another disk mounted to /media/backup on that same system.

The requirements:

  • Be able to create compressed backups of [1] to [2] while [1] is running.
  • Be able to recover individual files/directories from [2]'s backups to [1] while [1] is running.
  • Ideally be able to look at the files on [2] before restoring them to [1].
  • Be able to completely restore [1] from one of [2]'s backups.

Any input is welcome.

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closed as off-topic by Chris S Nov 25 '13 at 16:55

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Chris S
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I am not sure it does everything you want but you may want to have a look to rdiff-backup (, I use it to make data on a distant server via ssh and it works great.

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I have been using BackupPC to do that kind of backup. (It uses rsync to determine changes.) You will need space on /media/backup for all of the compressed data from your raid array, plus space for the changes. It has a nice web interface for working with the backups.

If you want to backup the backup disk repository, then Bacula may be a good choice.

Bacula and Amanda are more better for tape backups. They have radically different approaches to tape management.

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I don't know of any one product that would just do this.

Using an LVM snapshot is probably your best bet. This would allow you to back up a live disk.

Here is a pretty good article explaining how you might go about doing this:

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I use an rsync solution for my backups in a very similar setup to yours.

I have started using rsync snapshotting as it's footprint is very small.

What I do is this:

In the setup phase I rsync a copy of the backup data to the backup drive.

On the nightly backup, I make a copy of the current backup drive to a dated directory:

cp -al backup/ revisiondir/'date +%y%m%d'-backup/

Then I do my rsync:

rsync -au --delete livedata/ backup/

What this does is creates a link to the inode of each file rather than a new copy of each file in the new dated backup directory. If the file is deleted in the original copy rsync actually comes along and unlinks the file in the backup before deleting it, thus leaving the dated backup directory links intact and the original file inode intact.

This is my implementation of this idea here:

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Oh and I setup a cron task to do this nightly, however you could set this solution up to run on the hour or whatever you need. – Mike Mar 11 '11 at 17:49

I use rsnapshot to backup nearly 70 servers.

  • worked for me for years
  • easy to understand
  • extendable with scripts
  • easy restores
  • no compression :(

I once use Bacula - it is quite complex and not really suitable for a single server backup.

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