Re: Backup, what system files are *really* important?

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On 03/12/2010 10:11 AM, Craig White wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-03-12 at 10:59 -0700, Stuart McGraw wrote:
>> On 03/11/2010 09:02 PM, Craig White wrote:
>>> On Thu, 2010-03-11 at 22:32 -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
>>>> On Thu, 2010-03-11 at 18:54 -0700, Craig White wrote:
>>>>> On Thu, 2010-03-11 at 20:13 -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
>>>>>> On Thu, 2010-03-11 at 18:29 -0600, Mike McCarty wrote:
>>>>>>> Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
>>>>>>>> I back up all of /etc and /usr/local. Also /opt if it exists.
>>>>>>> Is /opt really likely to contain some configuration information
>>>>>>> that a reinstall wouldn't set up? ISTM that, if the system
>>>>>>> is "modern" enough to use /opt for its install, then its config
>>>>>>> would also be in /var. Not so?
>>>>>> /opt (and /usr/local) are likely to contain stuff that wasn't installed
>>>>>> via rpm or yum, thus needs to be preserved. That's all. YMMV.
>>>>> ----
>>>>> what about /var ?
>>>>> /var/www/html
>>>>> /var/www/named
>>>>> /var/lib/dhcpd
>>>>> /var/lib/imap
>>>>> /var/cache/samba
>>>>> come immediately to my mind
>>>> I don't run public services on my personal machine so much of that
>>>> doesn't matter to me. Plus anything with "cache" in its pathname is
>>>> excluded by my backup script as a matter of course.
>>>> I do back up /var/log though. You never know.
>>> ----
>>> yeah but if it's a samba server... unfortunate that redhat packagers
>>> chose to use /var/cache/samba for important files
>> I backup /etc/samba/smb.conf (the only file there I've
>> modified.)  There are less than a dozen samba users here.
>> I have notes about how to add them using pdbedit.  Since
>> this was how I set up samba originally, I am assuming
>> that redoing the same process will produce the same
>> results including the stuff in var/cache/samba?
>> Am I missing something?
> ----
> well it appears that they finally moved the contents of what used to be
> in /var/cache/samba to /var/lib/samba (yeah) but the contents are all of
> the internal tdb (trivial data base) files that samba uses for things
> like policies created by pdbedit, share information, etc. If you are
> running a samba server, you should be backing those up.

Historically, I've used a script that walks down /etc/passwd and picks
up all the home directories, sorts them, then uniqs them and I make sure
those get backed up.  I also back up /etc and /var (except /var/log).

Then again, depending on your backup media, there's no reason to not
back up the entire system (excluding transient trees such as /proc,
/dev and the like).

I do so using rsync to a server on my LAN (prophead) which has a 500GB
USB drive formatted with ext3 mounted at /media/500GB-Drive with a
directory called "Backups" on it.  Prophead's /etc/rsyncd.conf file

	uid = root
	gid = root
	use chroot = yes

	comment = Backup directory
	path = /media/500GB-Drive/Backups
	hosts allow =
	read only = no

Start up rsync in daemon mode:

	# rsync --daemon

and it's ready to go.

The clients (the machines being backed up) run this script:

	# Back up system to a specific directory given on the command
	# line.  Excludes the /proc, /sys, /dev and /media directories
	TODAY=`date +%d-%b-%Y`
	if [ $# -lt 1 ]; then

	rsync -avXA --exclude-from=/etc/skipdirs.rsync / \

The content of the "/etc/skipdirs.rsync" file on the clients is:


I make this a free gift to all.  It's quick and dirty, but it gets the
job done.  "If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid!"

Note: You'll get SELinux alerts on the rsync server when you do the
backup from the client (the /media/500GB-Drive/Backup directory won't
have the correct SELinux contexts), so put SELinux in permissive mode
on the server before you tell the client to back up.
- Rick Stevens, Systems Engineer, C2 Hosting          [email protected] -
- AIM/Skype: therps2        ICQ: 22643734            Yahoo: origrps2 -
-                                                                    -
-        Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.        -
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