From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Sun Nov 22 13:51:05 2015
I thought I posted this file in here, but I didn't. Here it is:
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How To Make Nightly Backups Easy
By Sean Dennis
16 November 2015
MBSE BBS should be backed up nightly as part of a good disaster recovery program. This is part of my "hot" part of my personal disaster recovery program.
I am running, as of this writing, MBSE BBS 1.0.6 under Slackware Linux 14.1.
These particular examples involve using crond (Dillon's cron) and run-parts. Your system may vary from this, so adjust accordingly.
The first thing I did was install rdiff-backup. This is available for many distros. rdiff-backup is a Python script that uses rsync to perform backups both locally and via SSH to other systems. rdiff-backup's website
explains how to do all of that and much more.
From rdiff-backup's website:
"rdiff-backup backs up one directory to another, possibly over a network.
The target directory ends up a copy of the source directory, but extra
reverse diffs are stored in a special subdirectory of that target directory,
so you can still recover files lost some time ago. The idea is to combine
the best features of a mirror and an incremental backup. rdiff-backup also preserves subdirectories, hard links, dev files, permissions, uid/gid ownership, modification times, extended attributes, acls, and resource
forks. Also, rdiff-backup can operate in a bandwidth efficient manner over a pipe, like rsync. Thus you can use rdiff-backup and ssh to securely back a
hard drive up to a remote location, and only the differences will be transmitted. Finally, rdiff-backup is easy to use and settings have sensical defaults."
I started doing research about creating a script to do the nightly backups.
As I read, I learned a few quirks about run-parts: a) run-parts will not run
a script that has an extension and b) the script's permissions should be set
to 755. This script runs as root, so as root, I created the following script in /etc/cron.daily (which runs at 0440 local time):
Let me explain what this does if you're not familiar:
* Line 1: Opens a command shell.
* Line 2: I have an external USB 500GB hard drive that I'm using for the
nightly backups. I created the /mnt/backup mounting point just for this
* Line 3: This is the line that does the work. It calls rdiff-backup to
backup all the files in /opt/mbse over to my USB drive into the nightly
* Line 4: Unmounts the drive (in case of problems, the drive is not
* Line 5: This just writes that line to the specified log file for my own
personal information. MBSE has ntohing to do with this.
The best thing about rdiff-backup is that it copies the files as they are.
No compression (unless you want it), nothing fancy. Lose a file? Just copy
it directly over from the backup directory.
I'd highly recommend reading up on rdiff-backup as it contains many features
I have no need for but you might find indispensable.
If you have any questions about this, please contact me in Fidonet's MBSE
echo, via netmail at 1:18/200@Fidonet or 618:618/1@Micronet, or email at email@example.com (the first two methods preferred). You can also find
me on my BBS, Outpost BBS, at telnet://bbs.outpostbbs.net.
-- Sean Dennis
Outpost BBS SysOp
 = While you may not be running your BBS as a business, it makes sense to treat it like one when it comes to backing up your data. A good place to
start learning about a disaster recovery plan is here: