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[rdiff-backup-users] Magic increments via LVM snapshots idea

From: Steven Willoughby
Subject: [rdiff-backup-users] Magic increments via LVM snapshots idea
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 17:19:32 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070403)

Hello everyone,

I think it is possible to combine rdiff-backup and LVM snapshots to have incremental backups on the same machine without having two full copies of the data set. What follows are some instructions on how I think this would be done:

First, set up LVM such that you have one large partition for your data, one small partition for your incremental backups, and enough free space to make snapshots. For sake of simplicity, pretend you mount them as follows:


1. Create a symlink for rdiff-backup-data (ln -s /increments /rdiff-backup-data)
2. Create snapshots/1 (a snapshot of /data)
3. Wait a few hours (or day, or whatever) for data to change
4. Create snapshots/2 (another snapshot of /data, now there are two active snapshots)
5. Run rdiff-backup /snapshots/2 /snapshots/1
6. Destroy snapshots/1
7. Repeat steps 3-6 indefinitely, incrementing the snapshot number each time

I not yet had a chance to try this out on a computer but it seems to work in my head. I am posting it in the hopes someone might find it useful.


Note: If you ever accidentally destroy both snapshots then you will lose history for any file that has changed since the last time rdiff-backup has run. (This can be checked with --verify.)

Another note: Step 5 will update the oldest snapshot so that it is identical to the newest. Since the oldest is immediately destroyed after rdiff-backup runs, this update is not necessary and rdiff-backup could be patched to skip it and only create increment files.

Yet another note: You will need to pass the -b and --exclude /snapshots/2/rdiff-backup-data options in step 5.

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