Compared to Windows, the world of Unix backup is extraordinarily
rich. You have many tools available, from basic to quite complex
and extensive. Just knowing what tool to use is a challenge in
Because of Unix's design, your choices for backup media are
quite wide also: you can backup to tape, another disk, a file,
dvds, or cdroms using exactly the same tools in most cases.
The most common Unix tools are tar and cpio. Early versions of
tar were limited to ordinary files and therefore couldn't do full
system backups, but most modern systems have updated tars.
You'll also see names like pax,amanda, dump and restore, as well
as commercial tools like Edge, Lonetar, Bru, Ctar, Arcserve and
Often the biggest problem with backup is finding the device name
to use. There is no standardization across Unix variants: a tape
drive might be /dev/st0, /dev/rct0, /dev/rStp0, /dev/ht, /dev/rmt0
or other names.
When you are adding storage devices, your new hardware may be
found automatically, or you may have to manually configure it. If
you are adding SCSI devices, you may need to know about SCSI issues
such as termination and id's.
If you are having trouble getting a SCSI tape to work, see
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