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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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2011-05-06 Tony Lawrence