GNU tar 1.34: 5 Performing Backups and Restoring Files

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5 Performing Backups and Restoring Files

GNU tar is distributed along with the scripts for performing backups and restores. Even if there is a good chance those scripts may be satisfying to you, they are not the only scripts or methods available for doing backups and restore. You may well create your own, or use more sophisticated packages dedicated to that purpose.

Some users are enthusiastic about Amanda (The Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver), a backup system developed by James da Silva ‘[email protected]’ and available on many Unix systems. This is free software, and it is available from

This chapter documents both the provided shell scripts and tar options which are more specific to usage as a backup tool.

To back up a file system means to create archives that contain all the files in that file system. Those archives can then be used to restore any or all of those files (for instance if a disk crashes or a file is accidentally deleted). File system backups are also called dumps.

5.1 Using tar to Perform Full Dumps   
5.2 Using tar to Perform Incremental Dumps   
5.3 Levels of Backups   
5.4 Setting Parameters for Backups and Restoration   
5.5 Using the Backup Scripts   
5.6 Using the Restore Script   

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