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Beginning Unix by Paul Weinstein, Jeremy C. Reed, Craig Zimmerman, Joe Merlino, Paul Love

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18

Backup Tools

Backups—the word is discussed many times in almost any technical book you have ever read, and with good reason. The concept is simple: Store a copy (backup) of irreplaceable or critical files and data in a safe place in case of a problem with the primary system. Backups are by far the best insurance policy against loss of crucial information in times of system disruptions, accidents, misconfigurations, or malicious activities. Despite that fact, most home users and some corporate users do not give backups the attention they deserve, often putting them second to everything else. If there's vital information stored in your system, however, there's no substitute for backing up that information. Backups are as necessary as any production issue. This chapter discusses basic backup concepts and methods, as well as the recovery of the backup data.

Backup Basics

Effective backups require considerable planning, including deciding the how, when, and where of your backups. The planning is all worth it the first time you have to call on your backup to restore lost data.

Everyone makes mistakes. If you have used computers in any capacity, you surely have accidentally deleted a file that was extremely important or lost a vital document when the power went off suddenly or the system rebooted with no warning. These things happen, and a backup is the insurance policy that can make one of these occurrences go from being a devastating event to a minor inconvenience. Most users, especially ...

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