Martin McCormick wrote:
>       Several months ago, I started using dar to backup a
> number of FreeBSD and Linux systems to one FreeBSD box. It
> worked fine once one got the syntax of the remote commands
> working, but then it all died when I moved it to a new
> FreeBSD6.3 system. 

I feel for you.

>       What we plan to do is backup a bunch of Unix systems to
> one FreeBSD box and then use a commercial package to back that
> box up to an enterprise-wide system we use. The archiver we need
> must be able to make 1 full backup of each system like tar and
> then incrementals until we are ready for another full backup.

I am an AMANDA advocate. You seem to have a decent understanding of the
difference between 'backup' and 'archive'. rsync does not fit your bill
here, IMHO.

Given that you need a 'standard' method of recovery, AMANDA conforms to
dump(8) and restore(8) if you don't have easy/direct access to its
internal amrecover(8) command set.

The initial learning curve isn't bad for a sys admin who is familiar
with performing proper network backups, and once initially configured,
just does it's job.

Since you can have all of your FreeBSD boxes backed up to a single
hierarchical directory structure via AMANDA, your enterprise server
should have no problem sweeping that single directory up, fulfilling
that portion of the criteria.

>       Any suggestions as to what is best? Dar seemed to be
> okay until the incrementals would hang each time with some error
> messages about the format version being too high which is bogus
> because we are using the same version for all the effected
> systems.

My suggestion is to use something that conforms to age-old and
tried-and-true dump/restore routines. A backup (as I can tell you
already know) is as good as the time it takes to restore from it.

>       The archive files should use tar or some other common
> storage method so we could unpack an archive from a Linux system
> in to a FreeBSD directory or vice versa.

Not only will it use tar, but you can define, on a partition level
basis, which tar to use, whether to compress, etc etc.

>       Any backup packages using tar would be fine as long as
> they can do incremental backups and use ssh as the transport.

If you do use AMANDA, it is trivial to copy the backups over SSH whether
it be after they are done or during backup.


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