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Hey Guys, I am a relative newbie to linux and am getting my hands dirty with backing up data on a Debian woody box. I need to periodically backup data ...
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  1. #1
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    Backing up on Travan tape in Debian/Woody


    Hey Guys,

    I am a relative newbie to linux and am getting my hands dirty with backing up data on a Debian woody box. I need to periodically backup data from the MySQL DB and some scripts that I run.

    However, Dell, being the nice corporate entity, refused to provide support to Debian and left me in the lurch after providing their expensive tape drive. So, I looked around and found the following procedure to back data onto my tape drive.

    rmmod ide-scsi
    modprobe ide-scsi
    mt -f /dev/st0 status

    tar cvf /dev/st0 Data-FolderToBeBackedUp

    Now, this seems to work fine so far. Here are my questions though:

    1. How robust is this way of doing it? (I am not sure what exactly the first two commands mean or do). Could this cause potential problems? What could they be?
    2. I have heard that using tar may not be the best way to write to tape (ofcourse, I am unable to find an alternate method). Is that true?
    3. Is the data written (using the above commands) in a compressed format?
    4. How do I find out the size of data written or rather, how do I find the amount of space left on the tape?

    Hope you guys respond. Thanks in advance.

    Krishna

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
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    Apr 2004
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    Debian has a nice package for managing backups called flexbackup - I would recommend using it instead of doing everything manually. I havent checked the status or availability of this package in stable as I use unstable.

    Tar is not the best way of creating backups as any problems with an archive will cause the loss of all files in your entire backup! afio is a better option as it compresses each of the files individually so that a problem with an archive still means that all the rest of the files are available.

    The rmmod - insmod shouldnt be needed if the ide-scsi module is already loaded. which is assumed by the fact that you are doing an rmmod in the first instance.

    Hope this helps

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