DirectoryStorage - DirectoryStorage backup tool

This document explains how to use DirectoryStorage's backup tool.

DirectoryStorage has a very open file structure, so it is easy to implement your own backup tools, should you want to. The standard tool works, but could well be improved. The doc/rawbackup.txt document explains the critical steps that any tool must perform.

The tool must be run with the storage locked in snapshot mode. This guarantees that it has a coherent view of the storage that is aligned with ZODB transactions, and that its files on disk will not change while the backup takes place. Note that snapshot mode still allows full read/write access from any live storage.

To take live backups while Zope is still running you will need to configure a config/snapshot.conf file. See documentation on the tool for setting this up. If you are using DirectoryStorage with something other than Zope you must either shut down any process using the storage, or use the storage API to trigger snapshot mode.

Backup tar files and index files are written to the directory HOME/backups. You may have to create this directory manually.

Making a full backup

The simplest full backup command is:

python --storage DIRECTORY full

DIRECTORY is the full path to your storage directory. You can omit this if this tool is being run under the tool. In versions before 1.1.10, use of the tool was mandatory.

You may need to specify a full path to python or depending on your installation. They are omitted here for simplicity.

This command will create a compressed tar file named backup-nnn.tgz in the directory HOME/backups. nnn is an automatically maintained backup sequence number.

It is also possible to specify a filename prefix, which is useful if you have more than one storage. This will create a file named mystorage-nnn.tgz (rather than backup-nnn.tgz):

python --storage DIRECTORY prefix mystorage full

That full backup is a complete copy of all the storage data. In version 1.1.10 and later, it also includes the configuration directory. For versions before that you need to make a seperate provision for storing the few small files in the HOME/config directory. Note that these files do not change during normal operation unless you edit them.

Making an incremental backup

The backup tool maintains a list of backup sequence numbers and timestamps in the backup directory. This is used to determine which files to include in an incremental backup.

A common command for performing an incremental backup is:

python --storage DIRECTORY prefix mystorage inc "36 hours ago"

This command ignores any full or incremental backups taken in the previous 36 hours (those backup tapes may not be off-site yet) and creates an compressed tar file containing all files changed since the most recent backup before that. The tar file name contains two numbers; the sequence number of this backup, and the sequence number of this previous reference backup. For example if you run this command every day, on the tenth day it will create a file named mystorage-8-to-10.tgz containing two days of changes.

The last parameter shown here is a value which is passed to the 'date' command. It currently requires a GNU extension. If your system does not have GNU date, you can alternatively pass an absolute time in seconds since the epoch.

Restoring a backup

Start from your most recent full backup, and then restore incremental backups in sequence number order.

Note that the backup policy illustrated here creates redundant backups. For example after restoring mystorage-8-to-10.tgz it is safe to skip ahead to mystorage-10-to-12.tgz. The intermediate file mystorage-9-to-11.tgz need not be restored. This provides safety unless two consecutive days backups are lost.

Exit codes

As of version 1.1, the backup tool will exit with a zero status code if and only if it has operated correctly.