Backing Up with Samba

One of the conceptually simplest network backup tools is Samba, the network file and printer sharing program described in Part II. Using Samba enables you to back up Windows computers using either client- or server-initiated backup procedures. You can also perform client-initiated backups of Linux and other non-Windows computers using Samba, although server-initiated backups of Linux systems are tedious when done with Samba.

Before proceeding further, you should understand the basic features and uses of Samba backups. These determine the advantages and disadvantages of using Samba as part of the backup picture. This chapter also presents two basic Samba backup scenarios: using a backup share for client-initiated backups and using smbtar for server-initiated backups.


The following pages presuppose at least some familiarity with Samba basics. If you know little about Samba, you should read Part II or at least Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

Pluses and Minuses of Samba Backups

Samba is a Linux implementation of the SMB/CIFS protocol—the default file-sharing protocol for Windows. Although Samba is frequently considered a server package, it includes client tools. Thus, Samba can be used as part of either a client-initiated (using Samba server tools) or a server-initiated (using Samba client tools) network backup design.

SMB/CIFS supports common Windows filesystem metadata, but it provides limited support for Unix-style ownership, permissions, and other metadata. Thus, ...

Get Linux in a Windows World now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.