Configuring ''rsnapshot'' for Backups

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rsnapshot is a filesystem snapshot utility based on rsync. rsnapshot makes it easy to make periodic snapshots of local machines, and remote machines over ssh. The code makes extensive use of hard links whenever possible, to greatly reduce the disk space required.

Using rsnapshot for backups is very simple. This tutorial explains step by step how to configure backups of home folders from fireball-server into two systems, fireball-archive and fireball-backup.


Installing the software

On fireball-archive and fireball-backup install the rsnapshot package using:

sudo yum install rsnapshot


Editing the configuration files

Edit or replace the configuration files on /etc/rsnapshot.conf with these

For fireball-backup:

#################################################
# rsnapshot.conf - rsnapshot configuration file #
#################################################
#                                               #
# PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING RULES:       #
#                                               #
# This file requires tabs between elements      #
#                                               #
# Directories require a trailing slash:         #
#   right: /home/                               #
#   wrong: /home                                #
#                                               #
#################################################

#######################
# CONFIG FILE VERSION #
#######################

config_version  1.2

###########################
# SNAPSHOT ROOT DIRECTORY #
###########################

# All snapshots will be stored under this root directory.
#
snapshot_root   /backups/raid_set2/

# If no_create_root is enabled, rsnapshot will not automatically create the
# snapshot_root directory. This is particularly useful if you are backing
# up to removable media, such as a FireWire or USB drive.
#
#no_create_root 1

#################################
# EXTERNAL PROGRAM DEPENDENCIES #
#################################

# LINUX USERS:   Be sure to uncomment "cmd_cp". This gives you extra features.
# EVERYONE ELSE: Leave "cmd_cp" commented out for compatibility.
#
# See the README file or the man page for more details.
#
cmd_cp          /usr/bin/cp

# uncomment this to use the rm program instead of the built-in perl routine.
#
cmd_rm          /usr/bin/rm

# rsync must be enabled for anything to work. This is the only command that
# must be enabled.
#
cmd_rsync       /usr/bin/rsync

# Uncomment this to enable remote ssh backups over rsync.
#
cmd_ssh /usr/bin/ssh

# Comment this out to disable syslog support.
#
cmd_logger      /usr/bin/logger

# Uncomment this to specify the path to "du" for disk usage checks.
# If you have an older version of "du", you may also want to check the
# "du_args" parameter below.
#
cmd_du          /usr/bin/du

# Uncomment this to specify the path to rsnapshot-diff.
#
#cmd_rsnapshot_diff     /usr/local/bin/rsnapshot-diff

# Specify the path to a script (and any optional arguments) to run right
# before rsnapshot syncs files
#
#cmd_preexec    /path/to/preexec/script

# Specify the path to a script (and any optional arguments) to run right
# after rsnapshot syncs files
#
#cmd_postexec   /path/to/postexec/script

#########################################
#           BACKUP INTERVALS            #
# Must be unique and in ascending order #
# i.e. hourly, daily, weekly, etc.      #
#########################################

interval        daily   7
interval        weekly  4
interval        monthly 24

############################################
#              GLOBAL OPTIONS              #
# All are optional, with sensible defaults #
############################################

# Verbose level, 1 through 5.
# 1     Quiet           Print fatal errors only
# 2     Default         Print errors and warnings only
# 3     Verbose         Show equivalent shell commands being executed
# 4     Extra Verbose   Show extra verbose information
# 5     Debug mode      Everything
#
verbose         3

# Same as "verbose" above, but controls the amount of data sent to the
# logfile, if one is being used. The default is 3.
#
loglevel        3

# If you enable this, data will be written to the file you specify. The
# amount of data written is controlled by the "loglevel" parameter.
#
logfile /var/log/rsnapshot

# If enabled, rsnapshot will write a lockfile to prevent two instances
# from running simultaneously (and messing up the snapshot_root).
# If you enable this, make sure the lockfile directory is not world
# writable. Otherwise anyone can prevent the program from running.
#
lockfile        /var/run/rsnapshot.pid

# Default rsync args. All rsync commands have at least these options set.
#
#rsync_short_args       -a
#rsync_long_args        --delete --numeric-ids --relative --delete-excluded

# ssh has no args passed by default, but you can specify some here.
#
#ssh_args       -p 22

# Default arguments for the "du" program (for disk space reporting).
# The GNU version of "du" is preferred. See the man page for more details.
# If your version of "du" doesn't support the -h flag, try -k flag instead.
#
#du_args        -csh

# If this is enabled, rsync won't span filesystem partitions within a
# backup point. This essentially passes the -x option to rsync.
# The default is 0 (off).
#
#one_fs         0

# The include and exclude parameters, if enabled, simply get passed directly
# to rsync. If you have multiple include/exclude patterns, put each one on a
# separate line. Please look up the --include and --exclude options in the
# rsync man page for more details on how to specify file name patterns. 
# 
#include        ???
#include        ???
#exclude        ???
#exclude        ???

# The include_file and exclude_file parameters, if enabled, simply get
# passed directly to rsync. Please look up the --include-from and
# --exclude-from options in the rsync man page for more details.
#
#include_file   /path/to/include/file
#exclude_file   /path/to/exclude/file

# If your version of rsync supports --link-dest, consider enable this.
# This is the best way to support special files (FIFOs, etc) cross-platform.
# The default is 0 (off).
#
link_dest       1

# When sync_first is enabled, it changes the default behaviour of rsnapshot.
# Normally, when rsnapshot is called with its lowest interval
# (i.e.: "rsnapshot hourly"), it will sync files AND rotate the lowest
# intervals. With sync_first enabled, "rsnapshot sync" handles the file sync,
# and all interval calls simply rotate files. See the man page for more
# details. The default is 0 (off).
#
#sync_first     0

# If enabled, rsnapshot will move the oldest directory for each interval
# to [interval_name].delete, then it will remove the lockfile and delete
# that directory just before it exits. The default is 0 (off).
#
#use_lazy_deletes       0

# Number of rsync re-tries. If you experience any network problems or
# network card issues that tend to cause ssh to crap-out with
# "Corrupted MAC on input" errors, for example, set this to a non-zero
# value to have the rsync operation re-tried
#
#rsync_numtries 0

###############################
### BACKUP POINTS / SCRIPTS ###
###############################

# LOCALHOST
backup  /home/          localhost/
backup  /etc/           localhost/
backup  /usr/local/     localhost/
#backup /var/log/rsnapshot              localhost/
#backup /etc/passwd     localhost/
#backup /home/foo/My Documents/         localhost/
#backup /foo/bar/       localhost/      one_fs=1, rsync_short_args=-urltvpog
#backup_script  /usr/local/bin/backup_pgsql.sh  localhost/postgres/

backup          root@157.182.3.78:/home/accounts/               fireball-server/
backup          root@157.182.3.78:/etc/                         fireball-server/
backup          root@157.182.3.78:/var/                         fireball-server/

# EXAMPLE.COM
#backup_script  /bin/date "+ backup of example.com started at %c"       unused1
#backup root@example.com:/home/ example.com/    +rsync_long_args=--bwlimit=16,exclude=core
#backup root@example.com:/etc/  example.com/    exclude=mtab,exclude=core
#backup_script  ssh root@example.com "mysqldump -A > /var/db/dump/mysql.sql"    unused2
#backup root@example.com:/var/db/dump/  example.com/
#backup_script  /bin/date       "+ backup of example.com ended at %c"   unused9

# CVS.SOURCEFORGE.NET
#backup_script  /usr/local/bin/backup_rsnapshot_cvsroot.sh      rsnapshot.cvs.sourceforge.net/

# RSYNC.SAMBA.ORG
#backup rsync://rsync.samba.org/rsyncftp/       rsync.samba.org/rsyncftp/

For fireball-archive the configuration is almost identical except by this

###########################
# SNAPSHOT ROOT DIRECTORY #
###########################

# All snapshots will be stored under this root directory.
#

snapshot_root /fireball-archive/backup


Programming the Bakcups with crontab

Now, you have to create a 'crontab' file for executing the backups

This is one example for fireball-backup

11 23 * * *       /bin/rsnapshot daily
11 22 * * 0       /bin/rsnapshot weekly
11 21 1 * *       /bin/rsnapshot monthly

For fireball-archive is very similar

17 23 * * *       /bin/rsnapshot daily
17 22 * * 0       /bin/rsnapshot weekly
17 21 1 * *       /bin/rsnapshot monthly

It is important to shift the times on both backup systems such they will not start copying at the same time.

After creating the 'crontab' file activate the cron with this:

crontab crontab


Checking the creation of backups

[root@fireball-backup ~]# ls -al /backups/raid_set2/
total 8
drwxr-xr-x. 16 fireball-backup fireball-backup 4096 Jan  4 23:28 .
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              38 Oct 19 10:53 ..
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Jan  4 23:46 daily.0
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Jan  3 23:57 daily.1
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Jan  3 00:10 daily.2
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Jan  1 23:23 daily.3
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec 31 23:40 daily.4
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec 31 00:04 daily.5
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec 29 23:56 daily.6
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Nov 27 23:39 monthly.0
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Oct 30 23:18 monthly.1
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec 25 23:32 weekly.0
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec 18 23:40 weekly.1
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec 11 23:35 weekly.2
drwxr-xr-x.  4 root            root              56 Dec  4 23:14 weekly.3