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rsnapshot is a filesystem snapshot utility for making backups of local and remote systems.

Using rsync and hard links, it is possible to keep multiple, full backups instantly available. The disk space required is just a little more than the space of one full backup, plus incrementals.

Depending on your configuration, it is quite possible to set up in just a few minutes. Files can be restored by the users who own them, without the root user getting involved.

There are no tapes to change, so once it's set up, your backups can happen automatically untouched by human hands. And because rsnapshot only keeps a fixed (but configurable) number of snapshots, the amount of disk space used will not continuously grow.

rsnapshot is written entirely in Perl. It should work on any reasonably modern UNIX compatible OS, including: Debian GNU/Linux, Red Hat Linux, Fedora Linux, SuSE Linux, Gentoo Linux, Slackware Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, and even IRIX.

rsnapshot was originally based on an article called Easy Automated Snapshot-Style Backups with Linux and Rsync, by Mike Rubel.

Backup and Recovery cover image Curtis Preston's excellent book Backup and Recovery, published by O'Reilly, contains a section on rsnapshot. It also has good coverage of lots of other backup tools, and sections on backing up applications such as Oracle databases. BSD Hacks cover image
Rsnapshot was featured in BSD Hacks, another book from O'Reilly, by Dru Lavigne. Even if you don't run BSD, a lot of stuff in this book works on other flavors of UNIX as well (including Linux). If you like learning new "power user" tricks in UNIX, this book has a lot of good information distilled down in one place.
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