Which do you think is the best and most simple way to prevent automatic backups filling all disk space in Linux, before it actually happens?
I would like to automatically recycle the oldest ones when the disk reaches, let's say 85% full
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I generally use
rsnapshot with appropriate retention policies. It has the (big) added advantage to provide an incremental backup approach (ie: almost no additional space is used by two identical backups) while giving you always up-to-date "full tree" in the latest snapshot (ie: what other products call "syntetic full backup").
However, this approach must be combined with robust free space monitor/alarm, should used space increase faster then expected (for example via unique data, which are not shareable between incremental runs).