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Re: Preferred Backup Method?

On Dec 5, 2007, at 8:12 AM, Michael Pobega wrote:

I'm trying to write a shell script to use tar for backups, but I want to
know; Which directories are nessecary to backup with tar and which
aren't? Obviously /bin, /usr, /home, /boot, /lib, /srv (Where I keep
all of my chroots) and /etc are, but are any of the other directories
mandatory to backup? Or are any of these directories fruitless to

The answer is, "it depends." How much custom configuration have you done? How fast does the system need to be back in service?

For desktop machines that have basically stock installations, I often only back up /home and /etc, plus maybe /var/www if the machine has a web server. I don't see any point in using up space backing up binaries that I can easily reinstall from the Debian CDs. But on a system where I've built lots of local software or done lots of custom scripting, backing up the binaries makes more sense.

Excluding /tmp and /var/tmp makes sense. So does excluding data caches -- /var/cache/apt, your squid cache directory if you're running squid, maybe even web browser caches if you're pinched for space. On systems that run udev, backing up /dev is also fruitless, although it doesn't really take up much space. And you should always exclude /proc. It's not a "real" filesystem anyway.

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