I hope you learn half as much reading this book as I did writing it. This was quite an interesting project, where we took the original book and expanded its scope so much that we had to change its title. I wrote Unix Backup and Recovery seven years ago, and a lot has changed since thenboth in the industry and in my life. The biggest change in the industry has been the proliferation of Windows, Mac OS, Exchange, and SQL Server in the data center. (I never saw the Apple Xserve coming.)

The biggest change for me has been having my eyes opened to backup and recovery applications beyond those considered "traditional." It's true that I spend most of my professional life consulting with large companies that spend enough on backup software and hardware to fund a small army. I enjoy doing that. It's very rewarding to show a company how to save millions of dollars a year and make their backups and restores faster and more reliable in the process. (By the way, if you need help with your backup system, drop an email to curtis@backupcentral.comthat's what I do for a living.)

I also spend a good deal of the time traveling the world speaking to users about how to do this themselves. And when I do, I always get questions like these:

I got a quote for backup software from XYX, and they want $XXXX for backup software! Where am I supposed to get that kind of money!?

I couldn't afford backup software from XYZ, so we bought ABC instead, and it stinks. Can you recommend something better?

None of the commercial utilities can back up my MySQL or PostgreSQL database. How do I do that?

How do I do bare-metal recovery on ABC operating system?

Aren't there open-source utilities that do this kind of thing?

So while I'm actually preparing to write my next book on how to select, install, and manage commercial backup software systems, I felt that this book needed to come first. This book is aimed at the people who feel that the commercial software products aren't meeting all their needs.

Perhaps you're a small shop that can't spend $10,000 just to get decent backup software. Perhaps you're already using a commercial backup software package, but you don't want to spend thousands of dollars on their agent to back up your DB2 databases, or you can't find anybody to back up your MySQL or PostgreSQL databases. This book is about giving you optionsfree options.

Almost everything I talk about in this book is either included with your operating system or application, or is available as an open-source project. (The commercial products I do mention cost only $99.) You may be amazed at what you can do for free or almost free.

I Wish I'd Had This Book

I wanted to write a book that would ensure that no one would ever have to start from scratch again, and I believe that my contributors and I have done just that. It contains every backup tool that I wish I had when I first entered the backup business and every lesson and trick that I've learned along the way. It covers how to back up and recover everything from a basic Linux, Windows, or Mac OS workstation to a complicated DB2, Oracle, or Sybase databaseand a lot of things in between. Whether your budget barely stretches to cover the cost of the backup media or allows you to buy a silo bigger than your house, this book has something for you. Whether your task is to figure out how to back up, with no commercial utilities, an environment such as the one I first encountered or to choose from among more than 50 commercial backup utilities, this book will tell you how to do it. With that in mind, let me mention a few things about this book that are unique.

Only the Recovery Matters

As my friend Joe Fitzpatrick used to tell me, "No one cares if you can back uponly if you can recover." Yet how many backup chapters have you read that dedicate less than 10 percent to recovery? You won't find that in this book. I have tried very hard to ensure that recovery is given equal treatment.

Products Change

Some people may be surprised that there are no product names mentioned in the commercial backup section. I did this for several reasons, the main one being that products change constantly. It would be impossible to keep this book up to date with more than 50 backup products that are available for Unix alone. In fact, the book would be out of date by the time it hit the shelves. Instead, this book explains the concepts of commercial backup and recovery software, allowing you to apply those concepts to the claims that the vendors are currently making. Up-to-date information about specific products is available on

Backing Up Databases Is Not That Hard

If you're a database administrator (DBA), you may not be familiar with the commands necessary to back up your database. If you're a system administrator (SA), you may not be familiar with the architecture of the database platform your DBA is using. Both concepts are explained in detail in this book. I explain the backup utilities in plain language so that any DBA can understand them, and I explain database architecture in such a way that an SA, even one who has never before seen a database, can understand it.

Bare-Metal Recovery Is Not That Hard

One of these days you will lose the operating system disk for an important system, and you will need to recover it. This is called a bare-metal recovery. The standard recovery method described in many backup products' documentation is to install a minimal operating system and restore on top of it. This is the worst possible method to do a bare-metal recovery of a system; among other problems, you end up overwriting some of the system files while the system is running from the very disk to which you are trying to restore. The best ways to do bare-metal recoveries for AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS are covered in detail in this book.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is divided into six parts, which are described in the following sections.

Part I

Part I of this book contains just enough information to whet your backup and recovery appetite.

Chapter 1, The Philosophy of Backup

Describes my philosophy about backup, such as why you should back up, and a little bit about how to do it, too.

Chapter 2, Backing It All Up

Goes into detail about the essential elements of a good backup and recovery system.

Part II

This section covers the basic backup utilities that are available to back up your system, and several open-source backup systems to help you manage those backups.

Chapter 3, Basic Backup and Recovery Utilities

Covers the basic backup and recovery utilities you're likely to find in Unix, Windows, or Mac OS, including dump, tar, cpio, dd, ditto, ntbackup, and rsync.

Chapter 4, Amanda

Covers the ever-popular Advanced Maryland Disk Archiver, or Amanda.

Chapter 5, BackupPC

Explains the disk-only backup system called BackupPC, which can actually back up far more than just your PC.

Chapter 6, Bacula

Covers Bacula. It roams the data center at night and sucks the vital essence from your computers.

Chapter 7, Open-Source Near-CDP

Covers three near continuous data protection (near-CDP) products, including rsync with snapshots, rsnapshot, and rdiff-backup.

Part III

If you have outgrown the capabilities of free utilities or would just like to take advantage of new backup and recovery technologies, you'll need to look at a commercial product. You should also know about the latest hardware that is on the market to assess your full range of backup and recovery options.

Chapter 8, Commercial Backup Utilities

Is your guide to the hundreds of features available in the over 50 commercial backup products available on the market today, allowing you to make an educated purchase decision.

Chapter 9, Backup Hardware

Explains the many different types of backup hardware available today, and provides criteria to help you decide which type of backup drive is right for you.

Part IV

A bare-metal recovery is the fastest way to bring a dead system back to life, even if its operating system drive is completely destroyed.

Chapter 10, Solaris Bare-Metal Recovery

Explains Sun's flash archive product, which is the Solaris equivalent of AIX's mksysb.

Chapter 11, Linux and Windows

Explains a number of procedures and tools that can be used to perform bare-metal recovery of both Linux and Windows systems. It includes a discussion of Ghost for Linux (G4L) an open-source ghosting product.

Chapter 12, HP-UX Bare-Metal Recovery

Covers the make_net_recovery and make_tape_recovery tools, which now come with HP-UX to perform bare-metal recoveries.

Chapter 13, AIX Bare-Metal Recovery

Discusses AIX's mksysb, probably one of the oldest and best-known bare-metal recovery tools.

Chapter 14, Mac OS X Bare-Metal Recovery

Covers how to perform your own bare-metal recovery of a Mac OS X machine.

Part V

This section explains in plain language an area that presents some of the greatest backup and recovery challenges that a system administrator or database administrator will facebacking up and recovering databases.

Chapter 15, Backing Up Databases

Explains database architecture while relating each architectural element to the appropriate term in DB2, Exchange, Informix, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and Sybase. This chapter will be your friend if you're an SA who's afraid of databases or a DBA learning a new database.

Chapter 16, Oracle Backup and Recovery

Explains how to perform Oracle hot backups using rman or user-managed backup.

Chapter 17, Sybase Backup and Recovery

Shows how to use the backup server to back up Sybase ASE.

Chapter 18, IBM DB2 Backup and Recovery

Explains how to back up and recover DB2 databases.

Chapter 19, SQL Server

Explains how to back up and recover SQL Server databases.

Chapter 20, Exchange

Explains how to back up and recover Exchange databases using the built-in ntbackup plug-in for Exchange.

Chapter 21, PostgreSQL

Explains how to back up and recover PostgreSQL databases.

Chapter 22, MySQL

Provides an overview of the various backup and recovery options available for MySQL.

Part VI

The information contained in this part of the book is by no means unimportant; it simply wouldn't fit anywhere else!

Chapter 23, VMware and Miscellanea

Includes VMware backups, the oft-debated "live filesystem dumps" question, and even some backup poetry.

Chapter 24, It's All About Data Protection

Provides some food for thought, discussing the fact that backups are not the answer to all problems; you should also be thinking about other areas of data protection, such as archiving, disaster recovery, and storage security.

What's New in This Book

See preceding section. Seriously, this book has about 75 percent new material when compared with Unix Backup & Recovery. Some chapters in the first book were completely rewritten for this book. Here are the highlights of those changes:

A new philosophy

This book reflects my new backup philosophy, which is that it's all about diskespecially for smaller shops.

New backup commands

We've added ntbackup, ditto, and rsync to the basic utilities chapter.


The Amanda chapter is completely updated to reflect the developments of the past seven years.

Commercial utilities

The commercial utilities chapter has been updated to reflect the advances in backup and recovery in the past seven years.


The make_net_recovery and make_tape_recovery tools have changed, and so has the chapter covering them.

Backup hardware

Boy, has hardware changed in seven years! Disk targets, virtual tape libraries, and data de-duplication systems. I cover it all.

There are eleven completely new chapters, significantly expanding the scope of this book. Here are the topics covered in these new chapters:


How to back up DB2 using its built-in capabilities


How to back up Exchange using ntbackup

SQL Server

How to back up SQL Server using its built-in capabilities


How to back up and recover MySQL databases based on the MyISAM, InnoDB, and NDB storage engines


How to back up and recover this popular open-source database using either pg_dump or pg_dumpall


How to use BackupPC, a completely disk-based backup and recovery system with a web frontend


How to use Bacula, an open-source backup product that roams the datacenter at night and sucks the vital essence from your computers


How to use snapshots and replication to make backups


How to do bare-metal recovery using flash archive

Linux and Windows bare-metal recovery

How to use a Linux LiveCD or Ghost for Linux to perform bare-metal recovery of Windows and Linux operating systems

Mac OS X

How to use the built-in, bare-metal recovery in OS (it isn't too hard)

What's Missing?

For various reasons, some chapters from Unix Backup & Recovery did not make it into this book. All of the following chapters are now available online at The one challenge, of course, is that these chapters have not been updated. Therefore, we've put them in our wiki so that anyone who wants to help us update them can do so.

  • Tru64 Bare-Metal Recovery

  • IRIX Bare-Metal Recovery

  • Informix Backup and Recovery

  • Clearcase Backup and Recovery

  • High Availability

Speaking of

We've completely redesigned using a content management system, forums, and MediaWiki. My number one goal for the new Backup Central is to make it much easier to provide you dynamic content and to build a strong community around backup and recovery issues. The new Backup Central has some really great features:

  • phpBB forums for various backup-related topics, including one for discussing the book. Come join the discussions.

  • A mailing list for each forum, allowing you to follow the discussions via the forum or email. Any posts in the forum are sent to the mailing list, and emails sent to the mailing list result in posts or replies in the forum.

  • A multidirectional connection between backup-related Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists, and phpBB forums. One of the things I was reminded of while writing this book is that Usenet is alive and well, and I want to bring this great resource to the Backup Central community and to create another portal into this underutilized resource. Each relevant Usenet newsgroup has an associated mailing list and forum, and all messages to Usenet, the mailing list, or the forum go to the appropriate forum, mailing list, and newsgroup.

  • A wiki based on MediaWiki, the same software that drives Wikipedia. One of the things you will find there is a wike entry for every chapter in this book. We're going to use these entries to update and further the ideas you find in this book. We're doing this for two reasons:

    • The first reason is that one of the problems with writing a technical book is that the second you go to press, something changes. While we're in the process of getting this book printed, MySQL will come out with three more storage engines, QTParted will probably support NTFS, and Bacula's Windows Server will become generally available. We'll use the wike to keep things like this up to date.

    • The second reason is because my contributors and I don't know all the answers, folks. We did our best to come out with a solid book for you, but we haven't seen everything you've seen. We'd love it if you help us further the ideas mentioned in this book, help us to explain the scenarios under which a given procedure won't work, or how a given procedure should be enhanced. (For example, right now a friend of mine is trying to help me understand how to get rsync to better handle millions of files. His testing won't be done in time for press. Put it in the Wiki, Jason.) Join the new Backup Central and save the worldor at least its data.

I'll see you at!

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Constant width

Indicates command-line computer output, computer-generated messages, and code examples. It is also used when referring to commands and parameters in text.

Constant-width italic

Indicates variables in text.

Constant width bold

Indicates user input in command-line examples.

                      Constant width italic bold                   

Indicates variables in command-line examples.


Introduces new terms and indicates URLs, files, directories, hostnames, and file extensions.

How to Contact Us

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This Book Was a Team Effort

It's true; my license plate does say MRBAKUP. But that doesn't mean I know everything about backup and recovery. In fact, I've never even used some of the operating systems or database platforms covered in this book! It would be a disservice to you, the reader, for me to write chapters on those productsbut I wanted the chapters in the book. So I hired a team of experts to write the chapters for you. Approximately 250 pages of this book were written by others, and contributors are recognized at the beginning of the chapter(s) they wrote.


It's not an easy thing to write a chapter in someone else's book. Not only do you have to write, but you have to write based on someone else's design. There are also tight deadlines, and the process is nothing but hurry up and wait. I couldn't have done it without them, so please allow me to formally thank all of my contributors.


Contributed by Dmitri Joukovski and Stefan G. Weichinger. Thanks for seeing this one through.


Contributed by Don "Duck" Harper. Quack!


Contributed by Adam Thornton. Thanks for bringing Bacula to the book.


Contributed by Michael Rubel, Ben Escoto, and David Cantrell. This chapter morphed a few times, and I appreciate your patience as it gelled in my head.

AIX bare-metal recovery

Contributed by Mark Perino. I think you are the fastest writer on the team.

HP-UX bare-metal recovery

Contributed by Eric Stahl and Ron Goodwyn. Great collaborative effort, guys.

Linux and Windows bare-metal recovery

Contributed by Reed Robins. Maybe we can do it this way, or that way, or that way! Did I change the scope of the chapter enough? Thanks.

Mac OS X bare-metal recovery

Contributed by Leon Towns-von Stauber. Thanks, Leon. I sure am glad Mario told me to give you a call. Your chapter was perfect.

Solaris bare-metal recovery

Contributed by Aaron Gersztoff. Be careful what you ask for, right, Aaron?

DB2 backup and recovery

Contributed by Jeff Richardson, Kulvir S. Bhogal, and Kondal Yennaram. You guys all came through in a pinch, and I'm most grateful.

Exchange backup and recovery

Contributed by Scott Harris. More pictures! Fewer pictures! Make it like this, no make it like that! Isn't it fun writing for me?

SQL Server backup and recovery

Contributed by Scott Harris. Look at that, Scooter! You're the only one who was crazy enough to write two chapters for me. Thanks.

Sybase backup and recovery

Contributed by Edward Barlow, who updated a chapter originally written by Bryn Smith. Another contributor I couldn't have done without. Thanks.

Dump internals

Contributed by David Young. When are you going to move out here with your Mom?

Without these folks, this book would contain substantially less information than what you find here.

Technical Editors

Another group of people I must thank is our technical reviewers, and we had a lot of them! The problem with writing a book with a scope this big is that you need specialists and tech reviewers as well. Because of that, most technical editors reviewed only one or two chapters. I couldn't have done it without them. I'm sure I've miss a few, but here's my best attempt at listing them all (alphabetically by first name):

Adrin Kow
Andy Shellam
Anthony Johnson
Axel Schwenke
Ben Garrett
Brian Eliassen
Brian Peasland
Charles Whealton
Chris Thomas
Christoph Haas
Craig Barratt
D.A. Morgan
Dana Diederich
Daniel Callahan
Dave Mehler
David Boyd
Edward Conba
Eric Gilmore
Eric Stahl
Finn Henningsen
Frank Sweetser
Greg Lehey
Ian Gorrie
Ian Herd
James Bougor
Jayesh Thakrar
Jeff Badger
Jeff Frost
Jeff Harbert
Jeff Richardson
Jeffrey P. Humes
John Haight
John Hurley
John Madden
Kern Sibbald
Kumar Sundaram
Lenz Grimmer
Marcel Lans
Mark D. Powell
Mark Dawson
Mark Perino
Massimiliano Daneri
Matthew Huff
Megan Restuccia
Mike Harrold
Mohammed Mehdi
Neal A. Lucier
Norbert Munkel
Patrick Matthews
Paul Muggeridge
Ralph R. Hirtler
Rob Worman
Rodrigo Real
Satyaprakash Pandey
Scott Boss
Scott Harris
Shane Seymour
Simon Riggs
Steve Hanson
Stewart Smith
Tammy Bednar
Todd Toles
Víctor A. Rodríguez
Vitalis Jerome
Wil Coulbourn
William Cole

Horror Stories

Also giving this book some flavor are those who contributed horror stories. Even if I couldn't use your story in the book, I want to thank you for sending one in.

Brian O'Neill
Brian Sakovitch
Chris Pritchard
David Bregman
David J. Young
Harry Tirrell
Hywel Matthews
Jack Coats
James Hunt
Jason Frankovitz
Jason Shupe
Jim Damoulakis
Jim Donnellan
John Merryman
Jorgen Lie
Karl Langdon
Kevin Suttle
Mark Perino
Michael Rice
Michael Tobin
Natalie Meek
Richard Ackerman
Scott Boss
Theo Van Dinter
William Birch
William S. Duncanson

Special Mention

There were a few people who were extremely helpful in one way or another throughout this project. I'd like to send a special thank you to them.

Anthony Johnson

It's not every CEO who would volunteer to tech review a chapter that is essentially a free competitor with his own product. I hope you and Storix do very well. You've got quite the Linux and AIX bare-metal recovery tool there.

Brian Peasland

You beat the living crap out of the first draft of the Oracle chapter, and rightfully so. The new chapter is significantly better thanks to your thorough and honest review. (You made me rewrite half of it, dude!)

Deb Cameron

Isn't it fun editing a book with 18 authors from 3 continents, several time zones, a few different native languages, using about 60 technical editors? Let's do it again sometime!

Joshua D. Drake

Thanks, Joshua for spending the time you did with me on the phone to help me better understand PostgreSQL. Next time, you should be more forthright with your own opinions. A guy really doesn't know where he stands with you.

Lenz Grimmer

You were my liaison in the MySQL community, and I definitely needed the help. Thanks to you and the whole MySQL team.

Lynn Stone

Thank you for helping get this project off the ground. I couldn't have done it without you. Only I know your secret identity.

Tammy Bednar

For such a busy woman, you gave me exactly what I needed for the Oracle part of this project. You've obviously done a lot of work on the Oracle backup products, and it shows. I hope you'll see my newfound respect for your products in the Oracle chapter.


Thanks for the support on the Amanda chapter, and for bringing commercial support to a very popular open-source backup tool.

Mario Obejas

Thank you so much for referring me to Leon.

I Don't Know It All

If there's one thing I learned while writing this book, it's that I do not know everything there is to know about backups. If you have a better way to do anything described in this book, have learned any special tricks, or have written any neat utilities that you think would help other people do backups and recoveries, let me know. Email me at Your tricks or utilities may be included in the next edition of the book and listed immediately on

How Can I Say Thanks?

How can I begin to thank the hundreds of people who helped me?

To God: May any praise for this book go to You alone.

To my wife, Celynn: I say "thank you" for the many nights you spent alone while I pounded away at my keyboard somewhere around the globe. You're a special woman who never gave up on me or my dream. I love you.

To my daughter, Nina: You were only seven when the first book came out. Now you're a beautiful young lady who is growing up so fast. I'm going to have to get a gun and sit on the porch.

To my daughter, Marissa: You were only two when the first book came out. Now you're a beautiful nine-year oldmy, how time has flown. Let's go to the park and ride our bikes together.

To my parents: What can I say? You always believed in me. You always used to tell me, "I don't care if you're a ditch digger. Just be the best darn ditch digger in the world." Well, being a backup guy is as close as you can get to being a ditch digger in the computer business, and I "wrote the book" on that.

To Bob Walker for helping me get my first job in backups, and Ron Rodriguez for being all too eager to give it to me.

To Susan Davidson, who didn't fire me when I couldn't recover that purchasing database in 1992: that second chance was all I needed to become the expert in backup that I am today. If you had fired me (and I'm sure a few people wanted you to), who knows where I'd be today. (If you're curious about the story, look for the sidebar "The One That Got Away" in Chapter 1.)

To Collective Technologies for helping me round out my skills enough to see that I wanted to specialize in backup and recovery, and for supporting me when I wrote the first book.

To Jason Stege, Robin Young, Jeff Williams, Reed Robins, and Elia Harris: Thanks for believing in me when I started my own company. I hope I did right by you.

To Mark Shirman and all my friends at GlassHouse: Thanks for giving me a place where I finally feel like I'm using my talents.

To my wife's family: Thank you for raising such a wonderful lady. Thank you for treating me as one of your own and supporting us on our quest. Pahingi ng sinagang?

To all the teachers who kept trying to get me to live up to my potential: You finally got through.

To O'Reilly: Thank you for the opportunity to bring this much-needed book to market.

To Deb Cameron and Michael Loukides, my editors: We'll have to actually meet one of these days! I don't know how you do this, reading the same book over and over, without letting your eyes just glaze over. You're great editors, and I could really tell that you put your all into this project. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. (Now don't edit that sentence, OK?)

To the reader: Thank you for purchasing this book. I hope you learn as much reading it as I did writing it.

Backup & Recovery
Backup & Recovery: Inexpensive Backup Solutions for Open Systems
ISBN: 0596102461
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 237

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