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       faubackup - Backup System using a Filesystem for Storage


       faubackup [options] srcdir [destdir]

       faubackup --clean[=destdir]

       faubackup [--list[=destdir]]


       faubackup  uses  a  filesystem on a hard drive for incremental and full
       backups.  This enables the backup to  be  accessable  through  standard
       filesystem tools.

       Later Backups to the same filesystem will automatically be incremental,
       as unchanged files are only hard-linked with the  existing  version  of
       the file.

       Executing  ’faubackup  srcdir  destdir’  is  a  bit  like ’cp -a srcdir
       destdir/‘date‘’.  That is, it will copy everything  from  srcdir  to  a
       subdirectory of destdir.  This directory is named after the time of the
       backup (format  ’YYYY-MM-DD@hh:mm:ss’).   All  filenames,  permissions,
       contents will be preserved.  It can cope with soft-, hardlinks and with
       holes in files.

       The big advantage over a simple copy is the use of  hard-links  between
       unchanged  files  to  minimize  disk  space  usage.   You  can  execute
       faubackup on a regular basis,  and  any  files  which  haven’t  changed
       between  these  calls  are not copied again, but are hardlinked between
       the  various  backup-directories.   This  is  similar  to   incremental
       backups, where only changed files are written to the tape.

       If  srcdir  or  destdir contains a colon (:), it is considered a remote
       backup.  The part preceeding the colon will be the  machine  to  backup
       from,  the  part  following  the colon will be the directory to backup.
       faubackup must be able to get  a  root  shell  account  on  the  remote
       machine,  in  order  to backup its files.  On the remote machines, PATH
       should include the directory  containing  the  faubackup  sub-programs.
       When   using   ssh,   this   can   be   achieved   by   setting  it  in

       If destdir is omitted, a default  will  be  chosen.   It  contains  the
       machine-name  and  srcdir  of  the  backup  and  may  be customized via


       FauBackup may be configured to keep certain backups for a long time and
       remove  others.  Have  a  look  at traditional backup systems. You have
       tapes for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly  backups,  and  store  them
       according to your local backup policy. FauBackup can do this for you on
       harddisks, too.  That is, it can keep some yearly, weekly, etc. backups
       for you and automatically remove other obsoleted backups.

       Four  different backup-types are recognized: daily, weekly, monthly and
       yearly.  The  first  existing  backup  in  such  an  interval  will  be
       considered  belonging to the coresponding type.  Thus, the first backup
       in a month (eg. 2000-12-01@06:30:00) will  be  a  monthly  backup;  the
       first backup in 2001 will be of all four types, as January 1st, 2001 is
       a Monday.

       The number  of  backups  kept  for  each  type  is  configureable  (See
       faubackup.conf(5)  ).  If  a  backup doesn’t belong to such a type (eg.
       second backup in a day), or is too  old  for  that  type,  it  will  be
       removed on faubackup --clean.


       FauBackup  can  print  some  informations  about  the  backups  kept on
       filesystem.  If used without verbose output, it just displays the first
       daily, weekly, monthly and yearly backup made.

       If  used  with verbose output, a list of all backups will be displayed.
       For every backup, the number of files which was  added  or  removed  by
       this  backup  will  be  shown,  together with the overall size of these
       files and the size of  files  exclusively  used  by  this  backup.   In
       addition,  a  backup will get marked, when it is the first of an backup
       interval (daily, weekly, ...).


       -h, --help
              Show short help page and exit.

              Show version string and exit.

       -l, --list [destdir]
              Show information about the backups already created.  If combined
              with  verbose  (see  below),  information  about the size of the
              backups is given,  too.   See  DISPLAYING  INFO  above.   If  no
              destdir  is  given,  search for possible backups in the standard

       -v, --verbose
              Show  verbose  output.   This  includes  all   filenames   being

              Add patterns for files that should not be backed up.  Those will
              be directly passed to faubackup-find.

              The command used to get access to remote machines.   Default  is
              to  use  the  FAUBACKUP_RSH  environtment variable if it exists,
              "rsh" otherwise.

       -o srcdir, -i destdir
              The ’do only half the backup’ options. Use  them  to  pipe  your
              backup  to some other location. (’faubackup -o srcdir | somepipe
              | faubackup -i destdir’)

       --clean [destdir]
              Remove old backups from destdir.  If destdir is omitted,  search
              for possible destination directories in the standard location.

       --years=number,  -y number, --months=number, -m number, --weeks=number,
       -w number, --days=number, -d number
              Specify  how  long  to  keep  backups  on --clean. These options
              override the settings in the configuration file.

              As described above, the first backup in an interval will be kept
              for later use.  If you do an automated backup in the morning and
              want to do an additional backup after some important work,  this
              is annoying.  When using this option, the last daily backup will
              be kept, instead of the first. Other backups will be  unaffected
              (weekly, etc).

              This  option  is directly passed to faubackup-gather.  When set,
              faubackup tries to reset the access time  after  reading  files.
              Doing  so  will update the ctime, too.  Don’t use this option if
              you are using other backup  software  in  parallel,  because  it
              might think that all your files have changed.

       --one-file-system, -L
              This  option  is  directly  passed to faubackup-find.  When set,
              then faubackup won’t backup directories from file systems  other
              than the one containing the source directory.


              Location      of      the     global     configuration     file.
              @SYSCONFIDR@/faubackup.conf is used if the environment  variable
              is not set.

              Default value for --rsh switch.


              Main Configuration file. See faubackup.conf(5) for details.  You
              can use the environment variable FAUBACKUP_CONF to  use  another

              Your backup will be available here.

              This  directory  contains  all  inodes  included in this backup.
              They  are  hashed  across   several   (sub-)directories   inside
              ..inodes.   This  directory is neede to be able to hardlink with
              existing backups of the same srcdir.


       You should not rely on your harddisk as the  sole  backup  medium  ;-).
       The Author recommends to regularly tar (a selection of) the disk backup
       to a tape, which should be stored in a different room.

       Additionaly,  you  should  be  careful  when   creating   your   backup
       filesystem.   As  directories  cannot be shared across several backups,
       they consume an considerable amount of inodes.  On filesystems  with  a
       limited  number  of  inodes  (like  ext2), one may need to increase the
       inode limit on filesystem creation.


       You need a filesystem with stable device id and inode  number  so  that
       faubackup  can correctly find your files again. This may be violated by
       some remote filesystems, for example Samba.

       Please report all bugs to

       Please send your ideas/comments to help improve FauBackup.


       faubackup.conf(5),      faubackup-gather(8),      faubackup-scatter(8),


       FauBackup is Copyright (c) 2000-01 Dr. Volkmar Sieh, (c) 2000-06 Martin
       Waitz.  Developed at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg.

       FauBackup  comes  with  ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.  This is free software;
       you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the  terms  of  the  GNU
       General  Public  License  as published by the Free Software Foundation;
       either version 2, or (at your  option)  any  later  version.   Look  at
       COPYING for details.


       This manual page was written by Martin Waitz <>.


                                 June 24, 2003