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.

       --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 <>