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dump, tar or cpio? - Linux / Unix Administration

I do a ufsdump backup of a large filesystem (~8GB) onto local disk before doing a tape backup of the data at a later time. I've found the occasional problem restoring from the dump file, especially when it's been compressed and uncompressed. As ufsdump is a rather archaic utility, I'm wondering if it's a good choice for such a large chunk of data. I believe it used to have a 2GB limit. Any thoughts out there? Would tar, gnutar or cpio be more robust? I'm running on Solaris 8. Many thanks for any assistance. Cheers, Lyn...

  1. #1

    Default dump, tar or cpio?

    I do a ufsdump backup of a large filesystem (~8GB) onto local
    disk before doing a tape backup of the data at a later time.
    I've found the occasional problem restoring from the dump file,
    especially when it's been compressed and uncompressed. As
    ufsdump is a rather archaic utility, I'm wondering if it's a good
    choice for such a large chunk of data. I believe it used to have
    a 2GB limit.

    Any thoughts out there? Would tar, gnutar or cpio be more
    robust? I'm running on Solaris 8.

    Many thanks for any assistance.

    Cheers,
    Lyn

    lynkempter@hotmail.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    com wrote: 

    8 GB is hardly a large file system.
     

    If it a file system, most people would suggest you use ufsdump. It
    should just work. There may have been 2 GB limits at one point in the
    past, but there are not now.
     

    tar will almost certainly give you an issue with device files.
     

    I can't understand what problems you should have with ufsdump unless
    your tape system is faulty in some way. ufsdump should just work.

    BTW, your tape drive probably has hardware compression, in which case it
    is pointless using software to compress the dump. The hardware should be
    faster.
     


    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
    Dave Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <googlegroups.com>,
    com writes: 

    You might want to "man fssnap_ufs" if you don't already know
    about it.
     

    Difficult to say, as you don't say what "the occasional problem"
    is.
     

    ufsdump is the right tool for the job.
     

    Oh, that might not have fssnap (can't recall when it was introduced).

    --
    Andrew Gabriel
    Andrew Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    Andrew Gabriel wrote:
     
    >
    > Oh, that might not have fssnap (can't recall when it was introduced).[/ref]

    It does after 1/01.

    John Howells
    John Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    com wrote: 

    That's a small filesystem.
     

    So the problem is compression not backup I think.
     

    Are you writing the file uncompressed then running gzip or
    whatever on it? Getting a newer version of gzip should fix
    the 2GB issue. Even better is to use a pipe. Since standard
    in and standard out don't have a size, the 2GB limit (if it
    still exists with your very old gzip) does not apply.

    ufsdump | gzip > the_archive

    Similar on restore.
     

    Use the right tool for the job. Not that either tar or cpio is
    explicitly the wrong tool, just that ufsdump is designed from
    scratch as a filesystem tool.

    You're still using UFS filesystems? Time to switch to VXFS
    or other newer format.

    Doug Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    "Doug Freyburger" <com> writes:
     

    Convince me, why would I do that?

    (I may switch to zfs for my file systems once zfsdump/zfsrestore
    are written and working.)

    - Tim Skirvin (uiuc.edu)
    --
    Theoretical and Computational http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/
    Biophysics, Beckman Institute, UIUC Senior Systems Administrator
    Tim Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    Tim Skirvin wrote: 
    >
    > Convince me, why would I do that?[/ref]

    General principle:

    You can tell the pioneers because when your wagon goes
    bump they are the ones dead in the tracks. You can tell
    the laggards because when your wagon goes bump they
    are the ones who were still alive just before you lapped them
    and accidentally ran them over.

    Keeping up with technology changes is something that is
    less painful when you do it on a scheduled basis, more
    painfull when you only do it when you no longer have any
    choice.
     

    ZFS would be a good alternative to VXFS or whatever. Go
    with the new-but-not-too-new because that's where the support
    is.

    Doug Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In comp.unix.solaris Doug Freyburger <com> wrote: 

    While VxFS has some nice features, I find most places don't make any
    real use of them. I don't see that switching to VxFS and the costs
    associated to be worthwhile unless you're using some particular
    feature. (This is a separate issue from the use of VxVM).

    Also, doesn't help for root.

    --
    Darren Dunham com
    Senior Technical Consultant TAOS http://www.taos.com/
    Got some Dr Pepper? San Francisco, CA bay area
    < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >
    Darren Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <googlegroups.com>,
    Doug Freyburger <com> wrote: 
    >> Convince me, why would I do that?[/ref]
    >...
    >Keeping up with technology changes is something that is
    >less painful when you do it on a scheduled basis, more
    >painfull when you only do it when you no longer have any
    >choice.[/ref]

    VxFS isn't a "keeping up with technology" issue. It is an expensive
    add-on which is only relevant to a small percentage of Solaris
    systems. It is a pretty safe bet that the OP with a "large" 8G
    filesystem isn't someone who should be losing sleep over not having VxFS.

    UFS with logging and the bundled Volume Manager is a perfectly up to
    date technology choice for most. Not the absolute best available but
    hardly anyone needs that.
    --
    Jim Prescott - Computing and Networking Group rochester.edu
    School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Rochester, NY
    Jim Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    "Doug Freyburger" <com> writes:
     
    >> Convince me, why would I do that?[/ref]
    > General principle:[/ref]
     

    You really haven't anwered my question. What would VxFS offer me
    over ufs that I would actually use? Keep in mind that I really do like
    ufs quite a lot, in large part due to the stability and ease-of-use of
    ufsdump...

    - Tim Skirvin (uiuc.edu)
    --
    Theoretical and Computational http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/
    Biophysics, Beckman Institute, UIUC Senior Systems Administrator
    Tim Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    Tim Skirvin wrote: [/ref]
    > [/ref]

    >
    > You really haven't anwered my question.[/ref]

    If the question includes the "or other newer format" part I think
    it does. Software ages and UFS format is old.
     

    Two other posts addressed that and I'll defer. Note that logging
    and bundled volume manager are actually at another layer than
    UFS so it becomes a question of how narrow or broad your
    definition.

    Doug Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    Tim Skirvin wrote: 

    A point I did not address in my other post. ufsdump rules. I
    would love it to be ported to other formats. At one point I
    spent several days poking at the write-ups for FAT-16 to try
    to port it to that format but I couldn't find simple enough
    write-up. I'd love other formats to mimic ufsdump rather
    than being gratituously different. It's been years since I
    last touched an SGI but xfsdump being gratituously different
    disappointed me at the time.

    ufsdump is a great tool, and sure enough I stated it was the
    right tool for the job when working at the FS layer.

    Doug Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    On 22 Mar 2006 14:49:36 -0800, Doug Freyburger <com> wrote:
     

    Absolutely.
     

    SGI seems to have done a lot of things which are gratuitously different,
    and "disappointed" is a very mild version of how I'd put it.
     

    Yes. Without getting to poetic, near perfection has been reached. It
    does everything it needs to do. No reason to change the methodology,
    just give whateverFS that same tool with the same functionality.

    Dave Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <googlegroups.com>,
    <com> wrote: 

    It is right, ufsdump looks a bit archaic as it does not access the FS in a
    clean way through official interfaces and suffers from limited buffering.

    If you like to switch to something that is FS and OS independent, I recommend
    to use star

    ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/star/alpha/

    It offers better buffering than ufsdump (which results in better performane)
    and it implements true incremental backups using the same basic ideas as
    ufsdump.

     

    A big warning: GNU tar claims to support incrementals since 1992 but
    the early bugs still have not been fixed.

    --
    EMail:isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
    tu-berlin.de (uni)
    fraunhofer.de (work) Blog: http://schily.blogspot.com/
    URL: http://cdrecord.berlios.de/old/private/ ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/schily
    Joerg Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <67.96.135>,
    Dave (from the UK) <org.uk> wrote:
     
    >
    >tar will almost certainly give you an issue with device files.[/ref]

    This was true for a generic tar before 1988.

    It was even wrong for star since 1985.

    --
    EMail:isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
    tu-berlin.de (uni)
    fraunhofer.de (work) Blog: http://schily.blogspot.com/
    URL: http://cdrecord.berlios.de/old/private/ ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/schily
    Joerg Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <googlegroups.com>,
    "Doug Freyburger" <com> writes: 
    >>
    >> Convince me, why would I do that?[/ref]
    >
    > General principle:
    >
    > You can tell the pioneers because when your wagon goes
    > bump they are the ones dead in the tracks. You can tell
    > the laggards because when your wagon goes bump they
    > are the ones who were still alive just before you lapped them
    > and accidentally ran them over.
    >
    > Keeping up with technology changes is something that is
    > less painful when you do it on a scheduled basis, more
    > painfull when you only do it when you no longer have any
    > choice.

    >
    > ZFS would be a good alternative to VXFS or whatever. Go
    > with the new-but-not-too-new because that's where the support
    > is.[/ref]

    I suspect another distinction is going with the no-extra cost (zfs)
    over the extra-cost (VxFS).

    Also, I suspect that the performance advantages of VxFS are very dependant
    on the type of workload. Unless it gives you performance or other
    capabilities for your particular workload that you can't achieve more
    cheaply (or at all) without it, why spend the extra $$?


    --
    mailto:net http://www.smart.net/~rlhamil

    Lasik/PRK theme music:
    "In the Hall of the Mountain King", from "Peer Gynt"
    Richard Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <dfncis.de>,
    tu-berlin.de (Joerg Schilling) writes: 
    >
    > It is right, ufsdump looks a bit archaic as it does not access the FS in a
    > clean way through official interfaces and suffers from limited buffering.
    >
    > If you like to switch to something that is FS and OS independent, I recommend
    > to use star
    >
    > ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/star/alpha/
    >
    > It offers better buffering than ufsdump (which results in better performane)
    > and it implements true incremental backups using the same basic ideas as
    > ufsdump.[/ref]

    For backups/restores, I think I'd care about efficiency, ease of use, and
    so on, but less about portability.

    I'll grant that it's possible that star could beat ufsdump on efficiency,
    at least under some (many?) conditions.

    My impression is that many people like the ease of use of the interactive
    interface to ufsrestore. If it were only capable of safely letting regular
    users restore only files they could have seen when they were backed up,
    and only to places they can currently write to, then I'd consider it just
    about the ideal _user_ interface. As far as _system_ interface is
    concerned, all I expect of a backup is to be able to restore it onto
    a similar system (i.e. version x plus or minus some small integer), and
    not necessarily on the same filesystem type that it was backed up from.
    AFAIK, ufsrestore satisfies those conditions since the nonstandard
    interfaces are really limited to ufsdump.

    For _archives_, something like star sounds ideal to me; no telling what
    OS (or distant version) one might be restoring onto - a _doented_
    format would be essential, and a highly portable program would be very
    desirable.

    BTW, since you do like to promote star for backups, have you looked
    at zfs? That is, does it have any extra metadata or attributes that
    people might want to be able to back up and restore? If you can show
    that you can accomodate any such, and given the ease of creating snapshots
    under zfs (which gives consistency across files as of a given moment,
    although one would still have to quiesce certain applications before
    taking the snapshot if one wanted their files to be logically consistent
    with respect to those apps), you might be able to get acceptance as the
    primary means of backup for zfs filesystems before anything else really
    catches on.

    Of course, I think a really nice interactive restore interface would
    be needed to really sell the point...

    --
    mailto:net http://www.smart.net/~rlhamil

    Lasik/PRK theme music:
    "In the Hall of the Mountain King", from "Peer Gynt"
    Richard Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    Dave Hinz <net> writes:
     [/ref]
     

    I have one more thing I would like it to do - run a command when
    it reaches the end of a tape, similar to GNU tar. This'd make it more
    useful with modern tape changers. (If anybody's written a wrapper that
    handle this, please, please share with me...)

    - Tim Skirvin (uiuc.edu)
    --
    Theoretical and Computational http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/
    Biophysics, Beckman Institute, UIUC Senior Systems Administrator
    Tim Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    On Thu, 23 Mar 2006 14:55:26 -0600, Tim Skirvin <org> wrote:
     

    Um...how about
    ufsdump 0f blah blah etc etc ; mt -t rewoff
    ?

    Dave Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: dump, tar or cpio?

    In article <net>,
    Dave Hinz <net> wrote: 
    >Um...how about
    >ufsdump 0f blah blah etc etc ; mt -t rewoff[/ref]

    That runs a command at the end of the dump, not at the end of the
    tape. The problem is dumps that are larger than a single tape. The
    'l' and 'T' options provide rudimentary support for autoloaders but
    more flexibility would be handy.

    I'd like to see a variant on 'S' that reported the space necessary for
    all 10 possible dump levels. This would be useful to things like
    Amanda which can vary dump level based on expected size. Sure you can
    call "dump S" multiple times but within dump it could calculate all 10
    values in a single pass.
    --
    Jim Prescott - Computing and Networking Group rochester.edu
    School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Rochester, NY
    Jim Guest

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