Backup strategy for S3?

Gavin Carr gavin at
Wed Apr 29 01:08:44 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 03:29:55PM -0400, Ed Blackman wrote:
> I'm exploring brackup as a replacement for my curent homebrew "monthly full 
> backups to DVD-R, incremental daily backups to CDRW" backup system.
> I plan to use the Amazon S3 target because I want to add reliable offsite 
> storage, and am willing to pay for it, but at the same time don't want to 
> pay to store bits that are already stored offsite in a reliable way: 
> unmodified files that my Linux distribution provides. (Ubuntu, in case it 
> matters) 
> In my current system, I do a lot of processing to remove unmodified distro 
> files (to save space, instead of money) from the list of files to back up 
> (and just dump the package and version of all distribution packages I have 
> installed).
> I don't see an easy way to hook that into brackup, though, and wanted to 
> see what other people do to backup files in /usr, /var, /etc, and other 
> system directories.

In general, you should really only need to backup /etc and perhaps certain
trees in /var. /usr should be only distro files (except perhaps /usr/local).
/etc should be relatively small too, so perhaps backing up distro files there 
isn't too bad size-wise.

I do something similar in spirit to what you're proposing though, using a 
couple of custom tools - extract and rpm-find-changes, both available here: 

rpm-find-changes spits out a list of files within a tree that have changed from
their distro versions (using the rpm md5 checksums - I imagine it would be
straightforward to do something similar for apt). extract pulls a set of files
from a remote host into a local tree and run arbitrary scripts at various
points. I use it to pull /etc files that have changed from remote hosts and
version control them on my server, and then just point brackup at that entire

Ideas for your pot anyway.


Gavin Carr
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