Faculty of Environment

Linux Backups

  • You must ensure that all restores finish before the next  backup starts (at midnight).
  • It's advisable to consult IT Staff if you are restoring a large directory structure.
  • The backup servers are normally powered down to save energy. The first access to a file system on a server will automatically wake it up - but you probably have to wait a few minutes (maybe up to 5 minutes) for the server to wakeup. You can manually check the status of a backup server and wake it up from a web interface.

Every Linux filesystem has a corresponding filesystem on the backup servers. For example:

Filesystem Backup
/nfs/see-fs-01_users/ear6stb /backup/see-fs-01_users/ear6stb
/nfs/foe-data-01_a34 /backup/a34

To restore a file to the previous day's copy, just use normal copy commands, e.g. -

  • cd /backup/see-fs-01_users (to wakeup the server)
  • cd /nfs/see-fs-01_users/ear6stb/dir1
  • cp /backup/see-fs-01_users/ear6stb/dir1/file1 .

The normal cp with wildcards, cp -r, etc can be used to copy multiple files and directories.

Note that the /backup directory is an automounted directory system - you have to access something before it's fetched from a server. Just typing "ls /backup" will not work - you have to cd to, or ls a specific directory.

Accessing Increments

The backup system saves all files which have changed over the last 30 days (for some filesystems this is 7 days). These backups are saved in the daily_changes subdirectory of the backup. For example, to restore a file which changed on the 20th of the month -

  • cd /nfs/see-fs-01_users/ear6stb/dir1
  • cp /backup/see-fs-01_users/daily_changes/20/ear6stb/dir1/file1.gz .
  • gunzip file1.gz

Note that increments are compressed to save space - so have to be uncompressed.