I have a build server that builds our comnay product in a continuous build method. the build user is called build (surprise ,surprise, i know :-) ) and most of the data that it uses is simply taken from git and svn, including the builder code itself, there are however several configuration files like our joblist and several more that are dangling out there with no real backup.

For the time being i've placed them on a private git repo on one server, we have 3 active servers.

The question i have is can i activate on ext4 (ubuntu 12.04 LTS) a 12 hours snapshot of the root of the home directory (no need for the rest) ? i know solaris used to have the ability to "go back in time" to a week or so in small snapshots of 5-10 minutes in the ops in real time, really cool :-) I was wondering if it exists with ext4 and how to use it ?


Back In Time is a simple backup tool for Linux (GNOME & KDE4).

You only need to specify 3 things: where to save snapshots, what to backup and backup frequency (manual, every hour, every day, every month)

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Check the project website. It essentially does all you want.

You can use the following command line options for the tool:

backintime [ --backup | --backup-job |
         --snapshots-path |
         --snapshots-list | --snapshots-list-path |
         --last-snapshot | --last-snapshot-path
         --help | --version | --license]

-b, –backup: take a snapshot now (if needed)
–backup-job – take a snapshot (if needed) depending on schedule rules (used for cron jobs).
–snapshots-path: display the path where is saves the snapshots (if configured)
–snapshots-list: display the list of snapshot IDs
–snapshots-list-path: display the path to snapshot
–last-snapshot: display last snapshot ID
–last-snapshot-path: display the path to the last snapshot
-h, –help: show a small help
-v, –version: show version
–license: show license
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  • He is referring to a server so assume no desktop ;) – Rinzwind Nov 4 '13 at 7:54
  • He could have a desktop env installed on a server... I have also added the CLI. – don.joey Nov 4 '13 at 7:55
  • That is an assumption you are making ;) That last bit makes it very good :+ – Rinzwind Nov 4 '13 at 7:57
  • yup it's an ubuntu server, no UI, virtual machine so only putty and ssh :-) what's the connetion to ext4 ? apparently non but there are FS that when you make a change you can save the change in the inodes in an internal FS DB and not delete the old inodes but rather create new ones and point to them, keep the old links in the DB, then you can go back and forth in the FS states each state is all the inode changes in the last X minutes. i understand ext4 is not one of those :-) – codeScriber Nov 4 '13 at 8:06
  • @codeScriber you are talking about filesystem copy-on-write snapshots. This can be done with btrfs. But you should be aware that this is no real backup because if your drive fail you'll loose your backup, too. A good backup strategy should place the backup at least on a different drive, even better on a different machine. BIT supports backups and restore from command line in recent versions (from PPA). – Germar Nov 24 '13 at 19:11

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