Friday, October 27, 2006


dbackup is a disk-based client-server backup system for Linux or other UNIX systems.

It works on the principal that disks are cheaper and more reliable than tapes.

Backups are started by cron probably on a daily basis by the client. The client backs up individual filesystems / directories with tar and sends the result to the server, which stores them in a simple tree-based directory structure.

Restores are trivial, either by using the supplied restore client, or by simply copying the appropriate tar files off the server and uncompressing them.


  • Backup very large filesystems as long as you have the disk space

  • Works with very large numbers of servers / filesystems

  • No state is kept on the client, it’s all on the server

  • Backup to multiple backup servers in round-robin

  • Configuration can be global or per-server

  • Authentication for client restores (optional)

  • Supports optional gzip or bzip2 compression

  • Supports client-side gpg encryption

  • Trivial procedure for restores

  • Daily / Full incremental backups


  • Perl version 5.005 or above is required, but much better performance will be seen with 5.6 or above.

  • Digest::MD5

  • While not required, the Term::ProgressBar module is recommended for restores


  1. Install the package, either by the RPMs or extract the tarball and follow the INSTALL instructions.

  2. Edit the client config file in /etc/dbackup-client/config to specify the address of your backup servers:
    # /etc/dbackup-client/config
    # dbackup client configuration. Perl syntax.
    # The following are the defaults. A list of servers can be given using
    # syntax: [ "host_a", "host_b" ]

    $backup_servers = [ "", "" ];
    $backup_port = 38771;


  3. Initiate a backup on the client:
    client1:~# dbackup backup /home/httpd

    Any errors will be printed to the screen. You can use the -v flag to show details.

  4. Request a list of available backups from the server. You can run this from another machine by specifying the -h flag:
    client1:~# dbackup list
    Available backups for client1:

    Directory Run Level Date Size
    /home/httpd 1 0 2006-10-24 17:02 2598912000 ( 2.4 Gb)

  5. Test a restore to a temporary directory on a second machine:
    client2:~# dbackup restore -d /tmp -h client1 /home/httpd
    Restoring /home/httpd on localhost to /tmp (Backup 1.0)
    Restored 2.40 Gb in 59 seconds.
    100% [=========================================================================================]D 0h00m00s


Documentation is in the program files in POD formation.

To view the documentation on the server, run “perldoc dbackup_server“.

Getting dbackup

The current version is 1.1.0, and represents a major rewrite from the 1.0 tree. It is not backward compatible.

Source RPMdbackup-1.1.0-1.src.rpm
Client RPMdbackup-client-1.1.0-1.i386.rpm
Server RPMdbackup-server-1.1.0-1.i386.rpm

Reporting Bugs

Please submit any and all bug notifications you have to


You can contact the author (David Parrish) at

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