I'm curious why in all backup tutorials I found tar command excludes among others /dev/pts and not all of /dev/ Why would I want to backup anything under dev?

  • 2
    back in the day when you still had to create device entries manually with mknod maybe, with udev I see no particular reason, no.
    – HBruijn
    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


There is generally no need to backup anything under dev, since it's mostly generated upon boot by udev. I did a lot of OS migrations by simply rsyncing everything except stuff like proc, dev, sys etc.

Just make sure when you setup your backups, ALWAYS test a recovery, to see if everything is functioning properly.

  • Can I use some tar option to make it check file after compression?
    – Lord_JABA
    Jul 7, 2014 at 13:46
  • You mean to check the integrity of backed up files? There's probably more than one way to do it, but I was actually referring to something else. Since you're doing full server backups, I suggest you try to restore the server backup on a different machine, to make sure it actually boots, and that everything is OK.
    – Vladimir
    Jul 7, 2014 at 13:51
  • Good suggestion but somehow missing the point because this backup will (i hope not) be restored on the same machine it's being created. So to test it in "battle conditions" I would need to wreck my production server...
    – Lord_JABA
    Jul 7, 2014 at 13:54
  • Of course you wouldn't test it on your actual production machine, but try to restore it on a similar machine, or a VM. Make sure you run the grub installation if restoring to new hard drives. :)
    – Vladimir
    Jul 7, 2014 at 14:04
  • 4
    Note that udev is Linux specific. On other unixoid systems with a static /dev, it is indeed advisable to include it in the backup, and only exclude /dev/pts, which is dynamically managed even there. Jul 7, 2014 at 15:05

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