rsbackup - rsync-based backup utility

       rsbackup [OPTIONS] [--] [SELECTOR...]
       rsbackup --retire [OPTIONS] [--] [SELECTOR...]
       rsbackup --retire-device [OPTIONS] [--] DEVICE...

       rsbackup  backs  up  files  from one or more (remote) destinations to a
       single backup storage directory,  preserving  their  contents,  layout,
       ownership, permissions, timestamps and hardlink structure.

       Incremental backups are achieved by hard-linking identical files within
       successive backups of the same files.

       See rsbackup(5) for details of the configuration file.

   Action Options
       At least one of these options must be specified.  When multiple actions
       are specified, they are executed in the order shown below.

       --backup, -b
              Make  a backup of the selected volumes.  At most one backup of a
              given volume will be made per day.

              Retire the named devices.  Retiring a device only means deleting
              the records of it.  Files on the device itself are not touched.

              If the device is still listed in the configuration file then you
              will be asked whether you really want to retire it; you can sup-
              press this check with the --force option.

              Retire  the  named  hosts  and volumes.  Retiring a volume means
              deleting any available backups for the volume and the records of
              them.   Records  corresponding to backups on unavailable devices
              are not removed.

              If you just want to remove backup records  for  retired  volumes
              but  want to keep the backups, you should either manually remove
              the records (see SCHEMA below), or rename it within the volume.

              Since this command deletes backups, you will be prompted to con-
              firm it.  You can suppress this check with the --force option.

              With  --retire, suppresses deletion of backups, and instead just
              drops database records for the hosts and volumes affected.

       --prune, -p
              Prune old backups of  selected  volumes.   See  rsbackup(5)  for
              details how how pruning is controlled.

              Prune  incomplete backups of selected volumes.  Any backups that
              failed before completion will be removed.

       --html PATH, -H PATH
              Write an HTML report to PATH.  The report  covers  all  volumes,
              not just selected ones.  PATH can be - to write to standard out-

       --text PATH, -T PATH
              Write a plain text report to PATH.  The report covers  all  vol-
              umes,  not  just selected ones.  PATH can be - to write to stan-
              dard output.

       --email ADDRESS, -e ADDRESS
              Email a report to ADDRESS.  The contents is  equivalent  to  the
              output of --text and --html.

              Writes  the  parsed configuration file to standard output.  Must
              not be combined with any other action option.

              With  --verbose,  the  configuration  file  is  annotated   with
              descriptive comments.

   General Options
       --config PATH, -c PATH
              The   path   to   the   configuration   file.   The  default  is

       --store PATH, -s PATH
              Specify the destination directory to back  up  to.   Using  this
              option  (possibly  more than once) is equivalent to removing the
              store directives from the configuration file and replacing  them
              with the paths give in --store options.

              This option implicitly enables the --warn-store option.

       --unmounted-store PATH
              Equivalent  to --store except that the store does not have to be
              a mount point.

       --verbose, -v
              Enable verbose mode.  Various  messages  will  be  displayed  to
              report progress and the rsync --quiet option is suppressed.

       --dry-run, -n
              Enable  dry-run  mode.   Commands  will be displayed but nothing
              will actually be done.

       --force, -f
              Suppress checks made when retiring devices and volumes.

       --wait, -w
              Waits rather than giving up if another copy of rsbackup is  run-

       --database, -D PATH
              Override the path to the backup database.

       --help, -h
              Display a usage message.

       --version, -V
              Display the version number.

   Report Verbosity
       --logs VERBOSITY
              Controls  which  logfiles  for  a  given  volume/device  pair to
              include in the report.  The possible values of VERBOSITY are:

              all    Includes all nonempty logfiles, even if the  backup  suc-

              errors Includes all error logfiles.

              recent Includes only the most recent error logfile.

              latest Includes only the latest logfile, even if the backup suc-

              failed Includes only the most recent logfile but  only  if  that
                     attempt failed.  This is the default.

   Warning Options
              Display warnings for unknown devices, hosts and volumes.  (Warn-
              ings will always be included in the report, this refers to  run-
              time error output.)

              Display  warnings  for unsuitable store directories and unavail-
              able devices.

              Display warnings for unreachable hosts.

              Suppress  warnings  for  rsync  "partial  transfer"  diagnostics
              (which are on by default).

       --warn-all, -W
              Enable all --warn- options.

              Suppress display of errors from rsync.

   Volume Selection
       The list of selectors on the command line determines what subset of the
       known volumes are backed up, pruned or retired.  The  following  selec-
       tors are possible:

       HOST            Select all volumes for the host.

       HOST:VOLUME     Select the volume.

       -HOST           Deselect all volumes for the host.

       -HOST:VOLUME    Deselect the volume.

       *               Select all volumes.

       If  no hosts or volumes are specified on the command line then all vol-
       umes are selected for backing up or pruning.  For  retiring,  you  must
       explicitly  select  hosts or volumes to retire and only positive selec-
       tions are possible.

   Adding A New Host
       To add a new host create a host entry for it in the configuration file.

       To back up the local host, specify hostname localhost.   Otherwise  you
       can usually omit hostname.

       You  may  want  to  set  host-wide  values  for  prune-age, max-age and

       A host with no volumes has no effect.

   Adding A New Volume
       To add a new volume create a volume entry for it in the  relevant  host
       section of the configuration file.

       Add  exclude  options  to  skip  files you don't want to back up.  This
       might include temporary files and the contents of "trash" directories.

       If the volume contains mount points, and you want to back up  the  con-
       tents  of  the subsiduary filesystems, then be sure to include the tra-
       verse option.

       You may want to  set  per-volume  values  for  prune-age,  max-age  and

   Adding A New Device
       To add a new device, format and mount it and create a device-id file in
       its top-level directory.  Add a device entry for it in  the  configura-
       tion file and a store entry mentioning its usual mount point.

       Under  normal  circumstances  you  should  make  sure  that  the backup
       filesystem is owned by root and mode 0700.

   Making Backups
       To backup up all available volumes to all available devices:

           rsbackup --backup

       You will probably want to automate this.  To only back up a limited set
       of volumes specify selection arguments on the command line.

   Pruning Backups
       To prune old backups:

           rsbackup --prune --prune-incomplete

       You will probably want to automate this.

       An  "incomplete  backup"  occurs  when a backup of a volume fails or is
       interrupted  before  completion.   They  are  not  immediately  deleted
       because  rsync may be able to use the files already transferred to save
       effort on subsequent backups on the same day, or (if there are no  com-
       plete backups to use for this purpose) later days.

   Retiring A Host
       Retiring  a  host  means  removing  all  backups for it.  The suggested
       approach is to remove  configuration  for  it  and  then  use  rsbackup
       --retire HOST to remove its backups too.  You can do this the other way
       around but you will be prompted to check you  really  meant  to  remove
       backups for a host still listed in the configuration file.

       If  any  of the backups for the host are on a retired device you should
       retire that device first.

   Retiring A Volume
       Retiring a volume means removing all backups for it.  It is almost  the
       same  as  retiring  a  whole  host but the command is rsbackup --retire

       You can retire multiple hosts and volumes in a single command.

   Retiring A Device
       Retiring a device just means removing the records for it.  Use rsbackup
       --retire-device  DEVICE to do this.  The contents of the device are not
       modified; if you want that you must do it manually.

       You can retire multiple devices in a single command.

       Restore costs extra l-)

   Manual Restore
       The backup has the same layout, permissions etc as the original system,
       so it's perfectly possible to simply copy files from a backup directory
       to their proper location.

       Be careful to get file ownership right.  The backup is stored with  the
       same numeric user and group ID as the original system used.

       Until  a  backup  is  completed, or while one is being pruned, a corre-
       sponding .incomplete file will exist.  Check for  such  a  file  before
       restoring any given backup.

   Restoring With rsync
       Supposing that host chymax has a volume called users in which user home
       directories are backed up, and user rjk wants their entire home  direc-
       tory to be restored, an example restore command might be:

           rsync -aSHAXz --numeric-ids /store/chymax/users/2010-04-01/rjk/. chymax:~rjk/.

       You  could  add the --delete option if you wanted to restore to exactly
       the status quo ante, or at the opposite extreme --existing if you  only
       wanted to restore files that had been deleted.

       You  might prefer to rsync back into a staging area and then pick files
       out manually.

   Restoring with tar
       You could tar up a backup directory (or a subset of it) and then  untar
       it on the target.  Remember to use the --numeric-owner option to tar.

       A store may be in the following states:

              The store can be used for a backup.

              The  store  cannot be used for a backup.  Normally this does not
              generate an error but --warn-store can be used to  report  warn-
              ings  for  all  unavailable stores, and if no store is available
              then the problems with the unavailable stores are described.

       bad    The store cannot be used for a backup.  This always generates an
              error message, but does not prevent backups to other stores tak-
              ing place.

       fatally broken
              The store cannot be used for a backup.  The program will be ter-

       The states are recognized using the following tests (in this order):

       +o      If the store path does not exist, the store is bad.

       +o      If  the store does not have a device-id file then it is unavail-
              able.  If it has one but reading it raises an error then  it  is

       +o      If  the  store's  device-id file contains an unknown device name
              then it is bad.

       +o      If the store's device-id file names  the  same  device  as  some
              other store then it is fatally broken.

       +o      If  the  store  is not owned by root then it is bad.  This check
              can be overridden with the public directive.

       +o      If the store can be read or written by group or world then it is
              bad.  This check can be overridden with the public directive.

              Configuration file.  See rsbackup(5)

              The backup records.  See SCHEMA below.

              One backup for a volume.

              Flag file for an incomplete backup.

       backups.db  is  a SQLite database.  It contains a single table with the
       following definition:

       CREATE TABLE backup (
         host TEXT,
         volume TEXT,
         device TEXT,
         id TEXT,
         time INTEGER,
         pruned INTEGER,
         rc INTEGER,
         status INTEGER,
         log BLOB,
         PRIMARY KEY (host,volume,device,id)

       Each row represents a completed backup.  The meanings of the fields are
       as follows:

       host      The name of the host the backup was taken from.

       volume    The name of the volume the backup was taken from.

       device    The name of the device the backup was written to.

       id        The  unique identifier for the backup.  Currently this is the
                 date the backup was made, in the format YYYY-MM-DD  but  this
                 may be changed in the future.

       time      The time that the backup was started, as a time_t.

       pruned    The  time  that backup pruning started (if it is underway) or
                 finished (if it is complete), as a time_t.

       rc        The exit status of the backup process.  0 means success.

       status    Status of this backup.  See below.

       log       The log output of rsync(1) and hooks.  If the  backup  status
                 is  pruning or pruned (see below) then this contains the rea-
                 son for the pruning.

       Possible status values are:

       0      Unknown status.  Not normally seen.

       1      Internally this means the backup is underway.   If  seen  exter-
              nally  after  rsbackup  terminates it means the backup is incom-

       2      Backup is complete.

       3      Backup has failed.

       4      Pruning has started.

       5      Pruning has completed.

       rsbackup is not designed with concurrent access to this table in  mind.
       Therefore  it is recommended that you only modify its contents when the
       program is not running.

       Older versions of rsbackup stored the logs for each backup in  a  sepa-
       rate  file.  If such files are encountered then rsbackup will automati-
       cally populate backups.db from them and then delete them.

       Older versions of rsbackup logged pruning information to a pruning log-
       file.   These  files  will  be  deleted  at the same rate as records of
       pruned backups in the database.  They are not included in the report.

       rsbackup-graph(1), rsbackup.cron(1), rsbackup-mount(1),  rsbackup-snap-
       shot-hook(1), rsync(1), rsbackup(5)

       Richard Kettlewell <>