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Do backups on Linux no longer matter?

cogcritter (3614357) writes | about 4 months ago

5

cogcritter (3614357) writes "In June of 2009, the dump/restore utilities version 0.4b42 for Linux's ext3 filesystem were released. This was the last version where incremental dumps could actually be used. A bug introduced in 0.4b43, one year later, causes restore to fail when processing an incremental backup unless, basically, no directory deletions occurred since the level 0 part of the backup set was taken.

The bug is certainly present in Debian Wheezy, and comments in Debian's defect tracking system suggest that the bug has permeated out into other distros as well.

How can Linux's backup/restore tools for its popular ext2/ext3 filesystem be broken for 3+ years, and nobody seems to care? Does nobody take backups? Or do they not use incremental backups? How many people are going to find themselves scrambling when they next NEED to restore a filesystem, and find themselves in possession of long-broken tools?

Just in case this article is where some hapless sysadmin ends up, the workaround is to go to dump.sf.net, go to the files section, pull down the 0.4b42 version and build it for yourself. For me, I think going forward I'm going to switch to filesystem mirroring using rsync."

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5 comments

ext2,3 (1)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | about 4 months ago | (#46738077)

this is the old ext2 and 3

even RHEL6 is using ext4 or LVM
and if one is using RHEL5.10 and ext3
rhel5 legacy is using the older tools

Re:ext2,3 (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#46739749)

LVM and ext4 are entirely different things, why are you using them in the same sentence? LVM has absolutely nothing to do with data integrity, anymore than fdisk or gpart does.

I'm fairly certain from your post that you don't understand what you're talking about as your post really doesn't make any sense in relation to the article in hand.

tar (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 3 months ago | (#46738433)

I use scripts wrapped around tried-and-true tar for my backups. And since I routinely build new servers from backups of a comparable one, I know they work.

Does anybody still use the fsdump utilities for their filesystem? Did anyone ever?

If you have to ask the question, the answer is YES (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#46739731)

Mirroring your data via rsync also mirrors errors via rsync.

If you are asking if you need backups then you don't understand what you're doing.

Backups, offline, provide you with a second copy of data to deal with failures you didn't see coming. Hardware can trash your drives regardless of filesystem in use.

A bad controller can even trash a ZFS dataset depending on how it fails, and ZFS is about as redundant as it can get.

Ignore that, file systems can prevent your machine from being utterly destroyed via fire or water damage, or the stupidity of you doing something that essentially does a dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disks while doing maintaince or any other number of things.

To sum it up, if you don't realize that backups are needed, you need them even more because you don't know enough about managing data to realize how easy it is to have to pull something off of backup.

Re:If you have to ask the question, the answer is (1)

stoborrobots (577882) | about 3 months ago | (#46745225)

To sum it up, if you don't realize that backups are needed...

He's saying that he realizes that backups are needed, but a core backup program has had the inability to restore from incremental backups for over 2 years, and no-one is screaming about it. So he's asking if everyone else is ignoring their backups.

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