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, also use the --forget-only option
              (see below).

              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  de-
              tails 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.

              List  unexpected  files  on  backup  devices to standard output.
              Must not be combined with any other action option.

              Note that this option does not verify that the backups are good.
              It just detects unexpected files on currently-mounted backup de-

              Prints out the path to the latest complete backup for  each  se-
              lected volume.

              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  de-
              scriptive comments.

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

       --store PATH, -s PATH
              Specify the destination directory to back up to.  Using this op-
              tion  (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  re-
              port 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,  and
              overrides backup policies.

       --null, -0
              For  the  --check-unexpected  option, terminate filenames with a
              null, rather than newline.

       --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 in-
              clude 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-parameter prune-age,
       max-age and prune-parameter min-backups.

       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-parameter  prune-age,
       max-age and prune-parameter min-backups.

   Adding A New Device
       To add a new device:

       1.  Format and mount it.

       2.  chown it to root.

       3.  chmod it to mode 0700.

       4.  Create a device-id file containing its name in its top-level direc-

       5.  Add a device entry for it in the configuration file,

       6.  If you do not use store-pattern, add a store entry in the  configu-
           ration file mentioning its usual mount point.

   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 in-
       terrupted  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 complete
       backups to use for this purpose) later days.

   Retiring A Host
       Retiring a host means removing all backups for it.  The  suggested  ap-
       proach 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.

       In order to minimize storage requirements, when a backup is  made,  rs-
       backup  selects recent backups to use as link targets.  Where possible,
       rsync will create hardlinks between the new backup and the link target,
       instead of making a new copy of an unchanged file.

       At present up to two backups may be selected as link targets, according
       to the following rules:

       +o      If the .nolink file exists for the volume (see  below)  then  no
              link target is used, overriding the rules below.

       +o      The most recent complete backup, if there is one, is used.

       +o      If the most recent backup is incomplete, that is used.

              Configuration file.  See rsbackup(5)

              The backup records.  See SCHEMA below.

              One backup for a volume.

              If  this  file exists then no existing backup will be considered
              as a hardlink target until a new backup has succeeded (at  which
              point it is deleted).

              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 backup.  The meanings of the fields are  as  fol-

       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      The backup is underway, or rsbackup was interrupted.

       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 <>