Cli-like client addition + image backup for Linux systems


We’re testing this utility for our infrastructure and it pretty much solves most of our needs, however, here are 2 questions that we’d need to answer because we haven’t seen any clear answer. If they’re already solved somewhere I apologize for that!

  1. We manage a big amount of servers (400+), so adding them one by one into the server is rather a tedious task. We wondered if there is a way to add a client on the server side in a cli-like fashion, like a command or so. We don’t even matter if that implies adding a registry into the database manually, it’s just the need we have to add a client and know their key so we can configure it afterwards (basically, we want to do a script that would add all clients in batch mode). Is there a way to accomplish this?

  2. 90% of our servers are Linux-based. We really appreciate image backups as they’re much more efficient than filesystem backups, so we’d like to ask if there’s a milestone to implement this yet (maybe I should have started asking if it’s even going to be implemented :slight_smile: )?

Thanks so much!

Did you have a look at this ?
I didn t tried it, but as i undestand that what you want.

I’d like that urbackup get some basic linux image backup, it fits the lof of small files case like for mailservers. But images of live system is hard.
There s a few possibilities if the system runs lvm/zfs/btrfs you can use snap, xfs also has an incr dump. But i dunno how he would store that (as a .raw file?) . There s also hardly a chance he could get some dedup done, that would be the job of the underlying storage (btrfs/zfs).
To get a bootable system, you’d need to save the /boot which is usually not lvm and on ext3 (it s not to much written so maybe it s possible to use dump2fs, and monitor for changes before/after backup). You d also need to save the partition layout, mbr… and i am sure i forget other things
So nothing impossible, but i think urbackup would need a lot of momentum/devs to get all the possibilities/details implemented.

W.r.t. 1) See also

Image backup for Linux is on the roadmap. The problem is, as orogor said, reconstructing the partition/device layout on restore. Would you be satisfied with a image backup that wouldn’t automatically restore the partition layout?
Image backup also isn’t even a possibility anymore with multi-device file systems such as btrfs, so the general solution is definitely file backup on Linux.

First off, thanks for both answers! I’ll check both projects but they pretty much seem to do what we need, so that’s fair enough for us.

I understand the problems with image backups, I suggested it because we already have something like that with R1Soft which also works with Linux FSs, but as we’re currently looking for additional similar solutions, we found UrBackup which seems quite promising and we just wondered if that could be implemented.

In our case, having an image backup that wouldn’t automatically restore the partition is completely ok. From our experience, we just had to restore a whole partition once or twice IIRC, and most of times we just need punctual files/directories. The image requisite is more in terms of efficiency, as some of our servers are quite busy and we’d like to avoid any performance issues that could produce FS backups.

Thanks for the answers and the help!

How does R1Soft do the image snapshotting?

I must say I’m not exactly sure how they do it, I just know they do. We have this solution with a commercial licence, usually when we need to add a client we make a request for the client package and it already comes compiled, so debugging code is quite difficult here.

IIRC I think you can download a trial version which allows you to install a server and register up to 1 client, so as you have a deeper knowing on this subject you can test it and maybe it will shed some light on how they do it?

FWIW, we use LVM on all our systems, so this could be a factor as orogor said.

With lvm, in the lvmsync project page, there s a technical explanation of what s possible using the lvm metadata to copy only modified blocks:
btrfs and zfs have that stuff built-in.
Supporting theses 3 options would cover maybe 80% of the uses cases the other 20% would be peoples not using volumes but there s no magical solution for backuping live system with no volume management.

A rought idea would be to save the partitions as for example .lvm.raw or .zfs.raw file to allow mount them on loop.
And have urbackup client simply pilot the lvmsync or zfs send software, maybe allow urbackup client to backup whatever comes on stdin and have various peoples wanting to make raw backup build scripts around this, maybe that would be kinda low tech, but surely better than nothing.

I remember looking as r1soft a few years ago. As i remember, it was copying files when they got modified and stored somewhere. then it would only backup theses files. Maybe they improved things since that.
Using something based on inotify you wouldn’t be that far away. Build a file-list of modified file, then backup theses, use dattodb to get them or check they aren’t modified during backup.