Create a perfect backup of the LinkStation filesystem

From NAS-Central Buffalo - The Linkstation Wiki
Revision as of 07:56, 17 July 2006 by Ramuk (Talk | contribs) (Unix-style Backup)

Jump to: navigation, search

This article Based on work by haberschnasel, nix, and frontalot. Originally by frontalot. at

Backing up the Linkstation

Very Basic Backup

If you don't want to read the contents of hda1 and simply want to backup and later restore it you don't need to fix_ext2_magic because dd copies low level without interpreting the data. Use the command:

dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/mnt/whatever/hda1.bin

No compression, saved on the data partition, you can copy it to any other PC later. This command should work even when the system is running and files are locked. If you want to make the image better compressable you could do:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/fillmeup

and delete this file later on. This has the advantage that unused parts become filled with zeroes which allows better compression.

Be careful what you type ! Specifying the wrong "of" parameter can easily wipe out data you would like to keep

USB or External Hard Drive Backup

As soon as you connect an external memory device to the LinkStation it get's mounted as /mnt/usbdisk1 or /mnt/usbdisk2. You could now copy the image you created above to the device:

cp /mnt/whatever/hda1.bin /mnt/usbdisk1

In case you use a quite small usb stick you can compress the data using:

gzip -9 /mnt/whatever/hda1.bin

This commands shrinks the image of my system partition to 95MB which easily fit's on a 128MB usb stick. If you gzip you have to add a ".gz" to the copy command above.


umount /mnt/usbdisk1

after you are finished.

Regular Shared Data Backup

The LinkStation comes with a simple backup system for performing regular backups of the data in the shared directories to an USB disk. To configure it use the LS web interface. Goto Maintenance -> Disk Backup and configure the backup as you desire.

The LS' own backup system is rather slow, so you might want to consider the following methods.

Improved Regular Shared Data Backup

You want a true incremental backup, i.e. after one full backup only daily changes shall be transferred to the LS? Install @@rsync@@ and use it in the LS backup script:

You want an incremental backup with history, i.e. keep replaced and deleted files? For information on these more advanced @@rsync@@ uses (like creating snapshots using hard links and @@cron@@) read rsync snapshots

Unix-style Backup

You find @@rsync@@ not suitable or risky? Install @@cpio@@. Write / setup a cron job. In this job use @@find@@ to identify files which need to be backed up. E.g., for an incremental backup search for all files newer than the last backup. Pipe the output of @@find@@ through @@cpio@@. Let @@cpio@@ write its output to an external USB disk or some other mounted network partition on a physically separate device.

Use a backup rotation schema like GFS (grandfather-father-son). Store backups off-site.