Clarification: Do incremental backups (either incremental image backups or incremental file backups) form a dependence chain with past incremental backups like in traditional incremental backups?


I read this: Wording: incremental vs. differential - #2 by uroni

So, just a little bit of clarification. Does this imply that UrBackup works like duplicacy in that incremental backups (both incremental image backups and incremental file backups) do not form a dependence chain with earlier incremental backups i.e. does it kind of work like duplicacy in that there is a central repository of chunks and every backup snapshot references different chunks in said repository in such a way that each snapshot is kinda like it’s own independent backup, and, if no more references to let’s say chunk X are to be found in any snapshot, then chunk X gets deleted?

Does this mean that in below:

Day 1: Full Image Backup
Day 2: Incremental Image Backup
Day 3: Incremental Image Backup
Day 4: Incremental Image Backup

If I delete Day 3, I can still restore from Day 4?

For file backups, yes (though whole files instead of chunks). For image backups it depends:

  • Incremental vs differential: Is now a setting in advanced (incremental to last full/last backup)
  • On certain file systems it can do cow-raw backups: And then any backup can be deleted (btrfs, XFS, ZFS, ReFS)
1 Like

Thanks for the quick reply uroni.

I read something in the UrBackup administration manual about this.

So, in General->Advanced settings of the UrBackup server, I can specify whether Local incremental image style should be based on the last full image backup or the last image backup. Do I understand it right that choosing the former will mean differential backups and choosing the latter will mean incremental backups?

Additionally, if I choose the former, I can then delete any backup on any day without breaking any sort of dependence chain because they are all just differential backups off of the same full backup, right? On the other hand, if I choose the latter, there will be a dependence chain between the current backup and the past backups, right? So in that case if I delete one incremental backup done on, let’s say, day 3 then backups on day 4 onwards will be unusable, right?

On certain file systems it can do cow-raw backups: And then any backup can be deleted (btrfs, XFS, ZFS, ReFS)

That is good to know.

You are correct. based on last full image backup means you’ll create differential backups. Based on last image backup means you’ll be making a incremental image backup chain.

You can also check this out on the Urbackup server webinterface. If you try to delete a non-full image backup , it should mark several other non-full image backups to be deleted as well if you’re trying to delete a incremental backup in the middle of the chain. (then the other backups in the chain will get marked for deletion as well).

1 Like

What happens in the case that the maximum number of incremental image backups is reached? Assuming incremental image backups are based on the previous incremental, not full.

Say the max is set to 3. On day 5 of the example in the OP, is the backup from day 4 replaced with a newer incremental based on day 3? Or is day 2 deleted so an incremental can be made based on day 4?