root problem with rsync
Imagine that you want to backup the /home directory of server ‘A’ to server ‘B’ using rsync.
There is two way to do this :
- You can run rsync on the server ‘A’, but if you want to correctly backup (I mean, having correct uid/gid/.. on backuped files) files you should connect to the server ‘B’ as root. I’m sure you don’t want to do that.
- You can run rsync on the server ‘B’, but you should connect to ‘A’ with an user that can read all file in /home. This could be complicated depending of your gid managment.
When Tar start to be your best friend
So how can you do ? the solution would be to store (uid/gid/permission/..) information in a dedicated file, so that you can apply them if you need to restore data.
How can you do that ? I’m sure you are too lazy to write a shell/perl/python/.. script to do that. You’re right ! Use tar.
What ? What ? You want me to tar /home and rsync it ? Are you mad ? I don’t use rsync to transfer 20Go at each backup.
When 1 option and 2 lines can save you
Tar as an incremental option. This mean that you can make a 1st tar file with /home then you can do a 2nd tar file with only modified file since previous tar. This option is -g.
Here is a 2 lines shell script to do the job
gtar -g /var/backup/home/home-backup.snar -cpvzf /var/backup/home/home-backup.`/bin/date +%s`.tgz /home/ rsync --delay-updates -avz -e ssh /var/backup/home backupuser@'B':/var/backup/
–delay-updates is very important because if you don’t use it if ‘A’ crash when rsync is copying the .snar file (used to store incrementation information) you will miss it on ‘B’ and can’t retore tar file correctly.
-g only exist in GNU Tar. You may have to install it if you’re running *BSD. First check if you have a gtar binnary