[RndTbl] Open Source Backup/cloning to USB HDD

Gilbert E. Detillieux gedetil at cs.umanitoba.ca
Tue Oct 27 14:53:27 CDT 2009

On 2009-10-27 14:00, Montana Quiring wrote:
> I want to backup a few Fedora serves and I'm wondering what Open Source 
> software people have used and would recommend for taking a snapshot of a 
> the complete system and have it save to an external USB hard drive.

I'm using the Amanda backup software, which is part of the Fedora 
distribution.  It's mostly meant for doing backups of multiple clients 
(over the network) to tape drives/stackers/libraries, but you can also 
set up a virtual tape device consisting of a set of disk directories.  I 
use that to back up to external disks over various types of interfaces 
(mostly Firewire).

You didn't specify if there are any particular restrictions on the data 
format you'll be saving to the external drive, but with Amanda, you'd 
basically be limited to their archive format, where each file has a 
particular header, followed by the archive data, which can be in either 
native "dump" format or in GNU tar format, with optional compression.

Note that Amanda is really optimized for doing regularly scheduled 
backups, with periodic full dumps and more frequent incremental dumps. 
That means, that on a restore, you might have to pull data from multiple 
archives, just for one file system.  If you're looking for something 
that gives you a complete system image to make "bare metal" restores or 
cloning easier, this is probably not the best solution.

Gilbert E. Detillieux		E-mail:	<gedetil at cs.umanitoba.ca>
Dept. of Computer Science	Web:	http://www.cs.umanitoba.ca/~gedetil/
University of Manitoba		Phone:	(204)474-8161
Winnipeg MB CANADA  R3T 2N2	Fax:	(204)474-7609

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