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© February 2003 Tony Lawrence


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 itself.

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 more.

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 /Unixart/tapenotfound.html

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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of iCloud, Fifth Edition

Take Control of Numbers

Take Control of iCloud

Take Control of IOS 11

Are Your Bits Flipped?

More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

Fri Mar 30 10:33:41 2007: 2931   TimSutinen

I've been reading aplawrence.com for years, and my company has been
listed there for a long time as a consultant.
Thanks for a great resource.

We have programmed a web-based Tower of Hanoi Backup Scheduling
Assistant. It keeps schedules backups, keeps track of tapes & emails
reminders. I'd appreciate if you linked to it on whatever page you deem
appropriate. Please check it out at (link)


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