We have recently brought a new Sun Solaris UNIX server. How do I Backup data and make a recovery for the Solaris OS using tar and tape device?
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to make a backup of your Solaris UNIX system. Most of the actions listed in this post are written with the assumption that they will be executed by the root user running the sh, ksh, or any other modern shell. Use the following tools to backup data to other server.
Sun Solaris UNIX Backup Commands
Sun Solaris UNIX comes with various commands and utilities to make a backup and recovery job:
a) tar command
b) cpio command
Important Directories and Files to Backup
- /export/home or /home (Home directory)
- User mailboes
- Cron files (/var)
- MySQL and Oracle databases etc
Task: Use tar command to backup /data and /home directory
Usually /dev/rmt/0 is tape device name. To create a new tar file you can type the following command (backup /home/, /data/ and, /etc/file1 files to home.back.tar file) :
# tar cvf home-back.tar /home /data /etc/file1
To create a new tape backup use:
Backup /home and /data directory to /dev/rmt/0 tape device, enter:
# tar cvf /dev/rmt/0 /home /data
Task: Display the contents of a tar file/tape
Pass tvf option to a tar command:
# tar tvf home-back.tar
# tar tvf /dev/rmt/0
Task: Restore files from tar file / tape
To extract the tar file to the current directory type:
# cd /
tar xvf home-back.tar
# tar xvf /dev/rmt/0
Understanding tar command options:
- x : Extract tar file
- v : Verbose
- f : filename : Use to specify file name / tape device name
- t : List tar file contents
Task: Backup files with cpio command
You can also use cpio command, which copies files into and out of a cpio archive. The cpio archive may span multiple volumes. The -i, -o, and -p options select the action to be performed. For example copy all *.c files to tape device or file called prog.cpio:
# ls *.c | cpio -oVc > /dev/rmt/0
# ls *.c | cpio -oVc > prog.cpio
Task: Restore file using cpio
To copy from tape back to a directory, use the command as follows:
# cpio -icvD < /dev/rmt/0
# cpio -icvum < /dev/rmt/0
Task: View the contents of cpio
Use the command as follows:
# cpio -ict < /dev/rmt/0
Understanding cpio command options:
- i : (copy in) Reads an archive from the standard input and conditionally extracts the files contained in it and places them into the current directory tree.
- c : Reads or writes header information in ASCII character form for portability.
- t : Prints a table of contents of the input.
- o : (copy out) Reads a list of file path names from the standard input and copies those files to the standard output in the form of a cpio archive.
- v : Verbose
- u : Use for an unconditional copy; old files will not replace newer versions.
- m ; Retains previous file modification time.
- d: Create as many directories as needed.
- Read Solaris tar, tape and cpio man pages, by typing following command:
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