[lbackup-discussion] OSX Server: Full System (Configuration) Backup

henri reply to this message via the mailing list
Wed Feb 24 10:19:04 NZDT 2010

> First of all: Yes, I've read most of all information of the official page and know LBackup is designed to perform backups of user data. I'd like to backup my whole server configuration over the network. 

I am assuming you are running Mac OS X server. Would you please confirm that this assumption is correct.

> Is it possible to backup and restore every directory on my server? For example I've read that CCC can't backup /private/var/spool (mail service) data.

I am quite sure that CCC is able to backup /private/var/spool. However, in order to do this, I would recommend that you shutdown the server while you make a full bootable backup. Performing a cold backup will ensure that all databases are static. It is possible to backup with CCC to a network location when the system is shut down. However, you will need to boot from an external drive or boot your system into target mode. This process could be automated.

If you are running Mac OS X Server, which version are you running? If you are running Mac OS 10.6, I believe that dovecot is the default mail application. I am not sure how dovecot is configured on Mac OS 10.6 server. However, it is possible (I have done this) to configure Dovecot on a GNU/LINUX system to store mail using the MailDir format. This means that each message is stored as a separate file. There are various trade offs to consider with regards mail message storage formats. One great advantage of using Maildir format is that the backup of your mail directories with an rsync based tool is greatly simplified. Another advantage is that restoring individual messages is also simplified.

> Does somebody use LBackup for backup the system configuration? Which directories have to be included?

Are you able to be more specific about which system configuration files. If you are after a bootable backup, then as mentioned above I would recommend that you shut down the server and backup the cold system. If shutting down the server is not a option, then I would recommend that you determine which services you wish to backup and then start and stop services with pre and post hooks. Some services may allow you do dump data out without fully stopping the service, MySQL, PostgreSQL and PaperCut services, just to name a few. 

Some system configuration files may be backed up without any problem while the server is running.

> Is it right that I need HFS+ formated network location to preserve the permissions and other meta-data?

Yes. I would highly recommend backing up to an HFS+ file system. This file system may be within a disk image or a partition. If you backup to a disk image then there is a post hook script bundled with LBackup for synchronizing a sparse bundle disk image to multiple servers via the network (these systems may be running a variety of operating systems including Debian and Mac OS X. The advantage of backing up to a disk image is that this may be stored on non HFS+ formatted file systems. 

> Is it right that I have to rsync 3 to restore data to preserve the permissions and other meta-data (cp command won't work?)?

This will depend on the meta data you wish to preserve. Please keep in mind that to restore some meta-data such as (multiple users) you will need to perform the restore via sudo or as root.

If you are going to restore files via the network, I would recommend using rsync v3.0.7 on both ends to preserve as much Mac OS X meta-data as possible. Depending, upon want are restoring you will want to use various flags. The following link contains some examples on using rsync v3 for coping data via the network or between file systems : http://www.lbackup.org/developer/migrating_backup_sets

Please keep in mind that you may not want to use all the flags listed on the link above. In particular you may not want to preserve hard links. You may also find that in your situation adding additional rsync options will result in the result you are after. If you are able to provide more details on what you are restoring then just let me know.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

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