Automated full-disk backup on Linux/Ubuntu
I settled on a full-disk rsnapshot incremental backup scheme, combined with explicit influxdb backup which seems to work nicely.
GoalOn my Raspberry Pi I have the following assets to protect:
- Overall Raspbian config (which took a while to converge to)
- InfluxDB with data
- Grafana with dashboards
- Worker scripts
- Protect against data corruption through power failure
- Bonus: protect against user error (keep version history)
- Bonus: protect against fire (offsite backup)
Alternatives consideredBesides a backup, I briefly considered a UPS to protect against power outage. This would be nicer as I never need to check for corruption of the fs after actual power failure. However, this solution is either more complex (needs extra wiring/soldering), more expensive, unclear reliability (test once is no guarantee for it to work, while backups are to some extent), and most importantly: a UPS could actually increase risk of fire, nullifying my UPS-solution and causing worse problems
Ideas I had and decided not to use:
- Use a Powerbank as UPS: pro: easy, reliable; con: needs bank that can simultaneously charge/discharge (expensive), increase fire risk: affordable power banks are not designed to be used continuously, additional logic required to power down for longer outages
- Custom Rai solution: pro: integrated solution, reliable? con: more complex, fire risk, additional logic required to power down for longer outages
Backup solutionI settled on using rsnapshot. I tried dd before, as recommended here and there, but this did not work for me as I want to backup a live filesystem, and somehow dd does not like this.
For reference, this command did NOT work:
ionice -c 3 dd bs=4M if=/dev/mmcblk0p2 | gzip \ > /media/backup/$(date +%Y%m%d).raspbian.img.gz
Backup influxdbSince backing up a live database is prone to error (I don't know what would happen when backing up a database which is being written to), I separately backup the influxdb using the following script which runs daily at midnight:
#!/usr/bin/env bash /usr/bin/influxd backup -portable \ /home/pi/backup/influx_snapshot.db/$(date +%Y%m%d) && \ /home/pi/.local/bin/rotate-backups \ --daily 5 --weekly 4 --yearly "always" \ /home/pi/backup/influx_snapshot.db/
This makes a backup using influxdb's own backup utility, and rotates these using rotate-backups. Rotating has the advantage that I can roll back a few days back in case I accidentally delete my data.
Get USB stickGet reliable (and optionally slow thus cheap) USB stick (USB2.0 suffices for my ~3GB RPi3B+ installation). Some options:
- Transcend JetFlash 790 64GB Zwart, 15 EUR, 35 MB/s
- Transcend JetFlash 790 128GB Zwart, 21 EUR, 35 MB/s
- Intenso Speed Line 128GB Zwart, 18 EUR, 23 MB/s
- Sandisk Ultra 64 GB, 13 EUR, 22 MB/s
- Intenso Speed Line 256GB Zwart, 35 EUR, 89MB/s
- Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3 64GB Zwart, 8 EUR, 15 MB/s (collapses for random write)
Add to /etc/fstab to automount:
UUID=6AC72A3C-8CAA-445F-83CE-35FF5D76BD01 /media/backup ext4 noatime,noexec,nosuid 0 0
Configure & schedule rsnapshotAs backup tool I use rsnapshot which has been around for a while and is built on robust rsync backend. I used the digital ocean guide and the linuxconfig guide
I use the following config:
config_version 1.2 # Set backup target to usb stick snapshot_root /media/backup/rsnapshot/ # don't create root directory because it's already there no_create_root 1 cmd_cp /bin/cp cmd_rm /bin/rm cmd_rsync /usr/bin/rsync cmd_logger /usr/bin/logger cmd_du /usr/bin/du # Keep 7 daily, 4 weekly and 4 monthly backups retain daily 7 retain weekly 4 retain monthly 4 verbose 2 loglevel 3 lockfile /var/run/rsnapshot.pid # Exclude exclude /media/ exclude /dev/ exclude /mnt/ exclude /lost+found/ exclude /proc/ exclude /tmp/ # Add backup target backup / rpi3b/
After setting up, test config and dry-run:
rsnapshot configtest rsnapshot -t daily
And finally add to cron (as root):
# daily backup is ran at 01:20 am to include stuff happening at midnight 20 01 * * * /usr/bin/rsnapshot daily # weekly backup is ran at 01:05 pm on Sunday, just before running the daily backup that week 05 01 * * 7 /usr/bin/rsnapshot weekly
Conclusion & next stepsUsing this backup scheme I largely cover two of the three goals:
- Protect against data corruption - works with max 1 day delay, which could be shortened by increasing backup frequency. Open risk: recovering crashed/corrupted system is fairly slow as I likely have to reconfigure stuff manually
- Bonus: protect against user error (keep version history) - covered nicely via incremental backups
- Bonus: protect against fire (offsite backup) - not covered, but if my home is gone home automation loss is OK
- Automatic method to check for data corruption upon hard system crash
- Automatic method to check for invisible data corruption upon system crash after which system seems to work OK
- Backup to offsite host (rsync works over ssh)
- Run using ionice/nice to reduce backup load
- Automatically umount usb stick when not in use
When talking about backups, I personally don't feel like this is an adequate step since SD card corruption happens way faster than HDD corruption.vanaalten wrote on Monday 7 October 2019 @ 08:01:
Would it make sense to backup to a micro-SD card instead (somehow connected via USB)? Then you could consider to buy a 2nd rPI: in case your smart home controller breaks down, you can quickly replace by replacing the broken rPI with the backup unit & backup micro-SD card.
Good point, no experience yetASP wrote on Sunday 6 October 2019 @ 13:21:
Tip: how to restore!
Although the idea is nice, this does not work with a live system, see 'Alternatives considered'. Any ideas on how to make this work are welcomevanaalten wrote on Monday 7 October 2019 @ 08:01:
Would it make sense to backup to a micro-SD card instead (somehow connected via USB)?
I'm already running my RPi off a SD card, so the added risk is already there. Also, I believe wear of SD cards is greatly exaggerated, see Reduce filesystem usage to prevent SD card wear at a previous post.stuiterveer wrote on Monday 7 October 2019 @ 09:46:
When talking about backups, I personally don't feel like this is an adequate step since SD card corruption happens way faster than HDD corruption.
Keep in mind I'm only relying on other people's info, I've never built such a system myself
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