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Old 23rd October 2008
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graudeejs graudeejs is offline
Real Name: Aldis Berjoza
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Exclamation FreeBSD backup/restore

Ok, this is defiantly worth writing... especially for new users
Here i will cover how to backup/restore (to file) FreeBSD using native utilities called dump and restore

note: dump and restore works only for UFS (aka FFS)

Backing up system
To backup system you need to use dump utility

$ dump -0Lauf /path/to/backups/ad0s1d.dump /dev/ad0s1d
Backup and compress on the fly
$ dump -0Lauf - /dev/ad0s1d | bzip2 > /path/to/backups/ad0s1d.dump
-0 - means to backup entire filesystem
-f name - output to file/device, or to stdout if you use -
-a - you need this if you output to file.
-L - needed if you backup mounted filesystem

Restoring system
to restore system restart in single user mode
format filesystem that you want to restore
in backup example, we backed up /dev/ad0s1d, so let's format it now
$ newfs -U /dev/ad0s1d
now you need to mount it
$ mkdir /mnt/target
$ mount /dev/ad0s1d /mnt/target
Let's imagine you backed up files to usb stick (da0, in root directory)
we need to mount it
$ mount -t msdosfs /dev/da0 /mnt/usb

Important note: you need space in temp to be able to restore
if you run out of space in tmp, mount some filesystem somewhere and
create symbolic links from /tmp and /var/tmp to that mount point

now to restore from backup you need to cd to dir where you mounted partition that you want to restore
$ cd /mnt/target
to restore from uncompressed backup
$ restore -rf /mnt/usb/ad0s1d.dump
to restore from compressed backup
$ bzcat /mnt/usb/ad0s1d.dump.bz2 | restore rf -

And that is it
now you can delete file dumpdates (or something like that, check for weird file in target directory, in our case /mnt/target)

now unmount filesystems and reboot

Moving system
you can move system from disk to disk on fly with
$ newfs -U /dev/ad2s1a
$ mount /dev/ad2s1a.... /target
$ cd /target
$ dump -0Lauf - /dev/ad1s1a  | restore -rf -
you can do the same using sudo
$ sudo echo
$ sudo dump -0Lauf - /dev/ad1s1a  | sudo restore -rf -

Some notes
you can do incremental backups - backup everything and then backup only files that have changed since (on current backup level) see manual for more info

you can use dump/restore to clone your system to other PC's
you will probably need to copy Master Boot Record (MBR) as well

to backup MBR:
$ dd if=/dev/ad0 of=/path/to/mbr.img bs=512 count=1
to restore MBR:
$ dd if=/path/to/mbr.img of=/dev/ad0 bs=512 count=1
* I prefer to compress backup, you can guess why

* if you backup /usr you may delete content of ports directory
this will speed up backup process, and reduce size of backup...
It's good thing because by the time you will restore /usr from backups
/usr/ports will be outdated, and you will need to update them anyway.
And portsnap works very well (fast) in fetching ports

* I prefer to do full backups, that way you can be 100% sure, there won't
be any confusing situations

* if you want to do backups while using filesystem, make sure you haven't
deleted .snap directory, on partition that you want to backup

* if you have backed up encrypted drive, you need to somehow encrypt backups
because if someone gets these files, he can restore them to his pc, and read your files at will. (I used this method in FreeBSD + Geli guide, to encrypt drive, but process can be reversed)

man dump
man restore

Last edited by graudeejs; 17th November 2008 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 25th February 2010
ripcurl ripcurl is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1

Hey, Thanks for the guide. Tested on Dell Studio 1555 laptop running FreeBSD 8-STABLE/amd64 and it seems to work fine. Cheers.
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Old 26th February 2010
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graudeejs graudeejs is offline
Real Name: Aldis Berjoza
ISO Quartermaster
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Riga, Latvia
Posts: 589

you may want to read same thread on forums.freebsd.org
I think there are a lot more interesting info in comments
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backup, clone, freebsd

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