Backup scripts

Bart Whiteley bart.plug at
Wed Apr 8 11:34:19 MDT 2009

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 9:35 AM, Richard Murri <rmurri at> wrote:
> On Wed, 8 Apr 2009 09:03:24 -0600 (MDT)
> "Matthew Walker" <mwalker at> wrote:
>>On Wed, April 8, 2009 8:22 am, Jared Smith wrote:
>>> On Sun, 2009-03-29 at 18:38 -0600, Byron Clark wrote:
>>>> Sounds like rsnapshot[1] would meet your needs pretty well.
>>> I took a look at rsnapshot a few years back, but ended up choosing
>>> rdiff-backup instead (for reasons I've since forgotten).  I just
>>> thought I'd throw it out there as another possible solution.
>>I'm a past supporter of rdiff-backup, mainly because it compresses the
>>diffs, so it uses less space. But this comes at a cost: It's a lot
>>more work to recover an old increment than it is with rsnapshot. I'll
>>be setting up a backup system soon, and I've decided to go with
>>rsnapshot this time.
> My personal feelings here are that rdiff-backup is perfect for a workstation,
> rsnapshot for a server or critical environment.

I used rdiff-backup in the past.  I've switched to rsync/hardlink
backups instead for a few reasons:

- Nothing to install -- even Mac OS includes rsync and ssh out of the box.
- I like to be able to view older snapshots without special tools.
- I like to have more frequent recent snapshots, and less frequent
older snapshots.  For example, once a day for a week, once a week for
a month, once a month forever.  I don't think rdiff-backup can do
this.  You can only remove "anything older than X" with

I've explored both rsnapshot and dirvish, but always end up rolling my
own scripts instead.  This is partly because I need some of my hosts
to "push" the backups.  rsnapshot and dirvish are both pull models.

Currently I have numbered archives for daily, weekly, and monthly
snapshots.  Some day I'm going to write a "thinner" so that the
archives behave more like Time Machine instead.

If you haven't already read it, this web page has good info for
rolling your own scripts.

More information about the PLUG mailing list