In this post, we will try to explain how to install and configure rsnapshot utility to take rsync backup of local file system.
rsnapshot uses the combination of rsync and hard links to maintain full-backup and incremental backups. Once you’ve setup and configured rsnapshot, there is absolutely no maintenance involved in it. rsnapshot will automatically take care of deleting and rotating the old backups.
It also takes very less disk space. The first full backup will take the same size as your original files and directories. Subsequent rsnapshot full backups takes only less space, as it takes backup of only the modified files from the previous full backup.
Install rsnapshotFor Ubuntu systems, run the following step:
root@anneke:~# apt-get install rsnapshot
Once rsnapshot is intalled, we will make a backup of the config file, to have always a default backup in case we need it. For this, run the following step:
root@anneke:~# cp -p /etc/rsnapshot.conf /etc/rsnapshot.conf.bckp.orig
Configure rsnapshot and specify backup source directory
Open the /etc/rsnapshot.conf and uncomment the following lines.
# vi /etc/rsnapshot.conf
Define your destination backup directories in /etc/rsnapshot.conf as shown below. In this example,
/etc – source directory that should be backed-up
localhost/ – destination directory where the backup will be stored.
# vi /etc/rsnapshot.conf
backup /etc/ localhost/
backup /home/ localhost/
Note: Change /etc/ to the appropriate directory that you would like to backup.
Test rsnapshot configuration
Perform configuration test to make sure rsnapshot is setup properly and ready to perform linux rsync backup.
root@anneke:~# rsnapshot configtest
If all is well, it should say Syntax OK. If there's a problem, it should tell you exactly what it is. Make sure your config file is using tabs and not spaces, etc.
Verify rsnapshot Backup ConfigurationYou can backup linux directories or files at various intervals. By default, the hourly and daily backups are configured.
Verify the hourly backup configuration
root@anneke:~# rsnapshot -t hourly
echo 4369 > /var/run/rsnapshot.pid
mv /var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.1/ /var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.2/
/bin/cp -al /var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.0 /var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.1
/usr/bin/rsync -a --delete --numeric-ids --relative --delete-excluded /home \
/usr/bin/rsync -a --delete --numeric-ids --relative --delete-excluded /etc \
Verify rsnapshot Daily Backup Configuration
Verify the daily rsnapshot backup process is configured properly.
root@anneke:~# rsnapshot -t daily
echo 4371 > /var/run/rsnapshot.pid
/var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.5 not present (yet), nothing to copy
Add Crontab Entry for rsnapshot
Once you’ve verified that the rsync hourly and daily backup configurations are setup properly in the rsnapshot utility, it is time to set up the crontab as shown below:
root@anneke:~# crontab -e
0 */4 * * * root /usr/local/bin/rsnapshot hourly
30 23 * * * root /usr/local/bin/rsnapshot daily
Verify the rsnapshot Job Manually (One time check-up)
For the first time, you may want to execute the rsnapshot backup manually to make sure it is working as expected.
By default all the rsync backup taken by rnspashot utility will be stored under /var/cache/rsnapshot directory.
Since rsnapshot was never executed, this directory may not exist as shown below.
root@anneke:~# ls -al /var/cache/rsnapshot
ls: /var/cache/rsnapshot: No such file or directory
Execute the rsnapshot backup utility manually for hourly configuration as shown below.
root@anneke:~# /usr/local/bin/rsnapshot hourly
Since we’ve executed the hourly backup, rsnapshot linux backup utility would’ve created the following /var/cache/rsnapshot directory with the hourly.0 directory
Browse through the /var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.0/ directory to make sure the files and directories that you’ve configured are backed up accordingly.
root@anneke:~# ls -al /var/cache/rsnapshot/
drwx------ 4 root root 4096 Apr 28 17:19 .
drwxr-xr-x 19 root root 4096 Apr 28 15:49 ..
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Apr 28 17:20 hourly.0
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Apr 28 17:14 hourly.1
root@anneke:~# ls -al /var/cache/rsnapshot/hourly.0/localhost/etc/
drwxr-xr-x 149 root root 12288 Apr 28 17:19 .
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Apr 28 17:19 ..
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Oct 17 2012 acpi
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2981 Oct 17 2012 adduser.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 10 Apr 3 16:32 adjtime
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 8 12:49 alternatives
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 401 May 25 2012 anacrontab
Hope this guide helps!