Backup points

What to backup and how

I have decided to use two different backup systems at once: a plain vanilla .tar.gz archiver (flexbackup) and a more modern snapshotting system (rsnapshot).

Snapshots are for "user" filesystem trees, i.e. those part of the filesystem where user data live:

  • samba shares
  • users home directories
  • web server directories
  • FTP server directories
  • anything else?
whereas flexbackup .tar.gz archives are for "system" areas, i.e. sensible server areas where applications, configurations and other data are, such as
  • /boot
  • /root
  • /etc
  • /usr/local
  • /var/backups (database dumps)
  • /home/samba/netlogon (samba PDC stuff)
  • save the system package status with dpkg --get-selections
  • anything else?
plus the previously defined "user" areas.

The rationale is that the snapshotting system will protect users from themselves, whereas the .tar.gz archiving will save anything that could not be restored reinstalling from (say) a Debian Netinstall CDROM.

The dpkg --get-selections is a great time-saver: in fact, saving the list of currently installed packages is way more efficient than (say) tarring all the /bin and /lib hierarchies: the restore in this case implies:

  1. install a base system
  2. set the package selections with dpkg --set-selections
  3. do a dist-upgrade
  4. do the actual restore (of /etc, /root, /home, /boot, /usr)