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See BLT.

backups: Spare copies of files (programs or data) that are made and kept in case the active copy is damaged or destroyed.

The damage or destruction can be due to a failure of the system (disk crash) or a user mistake (deleting the wrong file, making changes to a file and then realizing the original was better -- although there are better ways of dealing with that -- use a revision control system.

See also LinuxBackupAndRestore.

It is useful to develop a strategy for backups.

There may be little point to making a backup of the program files that can be restored by reinstalling your system. (Although sometimes you want to keep an image backup of your entire system that can put your system back in operating condition without any reconfiguring.) Even if you don't backup the standard programs that can be restored by reinstalling your system, it is a good idea to identify and save the configuration files.

With the adoption of the FHS, the locations of the configuration files is becoming more standardized. I can't immediately recite the right locations, but the /etc and portions of your home directory may contain most of the configuration files you need to backup.

Make sure you backup any data or program files you've created (or can't easily reacquire).

Another aspect of backup strategy involves when to make the backups, and where to store them. People with important data think about these things carefully. They may backup their entire system (or data) once a week, do an incremental backup every day, may have their software setup to automatically save n old versions of a file, replacing the oldest when they save a new version.

They also keep one set of backups on site, and another set offsite, in case of disasters like fire.

Backups can be made to any convenient media. Backups can be made to floppy disks, tape drives, zip drives, CD-Roms, or other hard drives (on the same system, or on another system, possibly remote).


  • RandyKramer - 02 Feb 2002
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Topic revision: r5 - 2003-09-07 - AnitaLewis
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