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THIS PAGE IS CHANGING FOR 9.2
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''' ''THIS IS CHANGING DAILY AS MORE FEATURES ARE BEING ADDED PRIOR TO 9.2 RELEASE'' '''
  
The built-in Life Preserver utility [[File:Lifepreserver.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19a: Life Preserver Icon in System Tray''']] allows you to automate backups of ''/usr/home/'' which contains the home directory for each user account created on the PC-BSD® system. Backups are stored on a remote system; for the purposes of this section, we will refer to the remote system as a backup server. [[File:Preserver1b.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19b: Life Preserver Welcome Screen''']] Life Preserver uses SSH and rsync, meaning that the backup server must have SSH and rsync installed. If the backup server is another PC-BSD® system, these are already installed and configured for you. If the remote system is running another operating system, you will have to ensure that SSH and rsync are installed and that SSH is listening for connections. Regardless of the operating system on the backup server, you will need to open TCP ports 22 and 873 using the firewall software installed on the backup server.
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The built-in Life Preserver utility was redesigned for 9.2 to take full advantage of ZFS snapshot functionality. This utility now allows you to schedule snapshots of a ZFS pool and to securely replicate those snapshots to another system using rsync and SSH. This design provides several benefits:
  
{{note|width=58%|icon64=you can also use {{citelink|url=http://www.freenas.org|txt=FreeNAS®}}, an open source networked attached storage (NAS) solution based on FreeBSD, as the backup server. Instructions for configuring FreeNAS® to accept Life Preserver backups can be found in the {{citelink|url=http://bsdmag.org/magazine/1756-protecting-dynamic-websites-in-freebsd|txt=September 2011 issue}} of BSD Magazine.}}
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* a snapshot provides a "point-in-time" image of the ZFS pool. In one way, this is similar to a full system backup as the snapshot contains the information for the entire filesystem. However, it has several advantages over a full backup. Snapshots occur instantaneously, meaning that the filesystem does not need to be unmounted and you can continue to use applications on your system as the snapshot is created. Since snapshots contain the meta-data ZFS uses to access files, the snapshots themselves are small and subsequent snapshots only contain the changes that occurred since the last snapshot was taken. This space efficiency means that you can take snapshots often. Snapshots also provide a convenient way to access previous versions of files as you can simply browse to the point-in-time for the version of the file that you need. Life Preserver makes it easy to configure when snapshots are taken and provides a built-in graphical browser for finding and restoring the files within a snapshot.
  
Life Preserver is not the only way to make a backup. For example, you may find it easier to drag and drop the files/directories that you wish to backup to an external device, such as a USB drive, using one of the file manager utilities listed [[Files and File Sharing#File Managers and File Structure | File Managers]]. You can also find a few PBIs of backup utilities using AppCafe®. The advantage of Life Preserver is that it allows you to easily schedule backups of your home directory to a backup server.
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* replication is an efficient way to keep the files on two systems in sync. In the case of Life Preserver, the snapshots taken on the PC-BSD system will be synchronized with their versions stored on the backup server.  
  
=== Managing Backups Using the GUI===
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* SSH means that the snapshots will be sent to the backup server oven an encrypted connection, which protects the contents of the snapshots.
  
A shortcut to the Life Preserver utility, seen in Figure 8.19a, can be found in the system tray. This icon is animated and will indicate when a backup is taking place.
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When choosing which system to use as the backup server, keep the following points in mind:
  
If you right-click the icon, the menu provides options to minimize (if the Life Preserver window is open), to perform a restore (if a backup exists), to start Life Preserver whenever the current user logs in, or to quit (remove the icon from the tray).
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* the backup server ''' ''must be formatted with the latest version of ZFS,'' ''' also known as ZFS feature flags or ZFSv5000. Operating systems that support this version of ZFS include PC-BSD 9.2, FreeBSD 9.2, and FreeNAS 9.1.x.
  
To start the backup wizard shown in Figure 8.19b, double-click the icon, or click ''[[Control Panel]]'' ➜ ''[[Life Preserver]]'', or type '''life-preserver''' at the command line.
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* that system must have rsync and SSH installed and the SSH service must be running. If the backup server is running PC-BSD, rsync and SSH are already installed and you can start SSH using [[Service Manager]]. If that system is running FreeNAS, rsync and SSH are already installed. How to configure these services is described in [[Life_Preserver#Backing_Up_to_a_FreeNAS_System|Backing Up to a FreeNAS System]]. If the system is running FreeBSD, SSH is already installed. You will need to install rsync and start SSH.
  
Once you click the "Get Started" button, the "Add New Life Preserver Wizard" will launch, allowing you to configure a backup. Click "Next" to see the screen in Figure 8.19c:
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* if the backup server is running PC-BSD, you will need to open TCP ports 22 (SSH) and 873 (rsync) using [[Firewall Manager]]. If the server is running FreeBSD and a firewall has been configured, add rules to open these ports in the firewall ruleset. FreeNAS does not run a firewall by default.
  
[[File:Preserver1d.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19c: Remote Device Configuration Screen''']]
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[[File:Lifepreserver.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19a: Life Preserver Icon in System Tray''']]
  
You will need to input the following information:
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=== Managing Snapshots Using the GUI===
  
'''Host Name:''' of the remote system that will store your backup. If the backup server is on your local network, the host name must be in your hosts file or in the database of the local DNS server. You may find it easier to instead input the IP address of the backup server as this will eliminate any host name resolution problems.
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An icon to the Life Preserver utility, seen in Figure 8.19a, can be found in the system tray.  
  
'''User Name:''' this user must have permission to log in to the system that will hold the backup. If the account does not already exist, you should create it first on the backup server.
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To remove the icon from the system tray, right-click it. To re-add it to the tray, go to Control Panel ➜ Life Preserver or type '''pc-su life-preserver &''' at the command line. If your desktop manager does not provide a system tray, you will need to instead [[Life_Preserver#Managing_Snapshots_From_the_Command_Line|manage backups from the command line]].
  
'''SSH Port:''' port 22, the default port used by SSH is selected for you. You only need to change this if the remote system is using a non-standard port to listen for SSH connections. In that case, use the up/down arrows or type in the port number.
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To open the screen shown in Figure 8.19b, double-click the Life Preserver icon. Click the "+" button and select the name of the ZFS pool to backup. Unless you configured a custom pool name during installation, it will be ''tank''. This will launch the the "New Life Preserver Wizard", allowing you to configure the backup schedule. Click "Next" to see the screen in Figure 8.19c.
  
{{note|width=58%|icon64=if there is a firewall protecting the remote system, make sure that it allows connections to the specified port number from the IP address of the system that you wish to backup. If the backup server is running PC-BSD®, you can use [[Firewall Manager]] to add an entry for SSH.}}
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[[File:Lpreserver1.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19b: Life Preserver Screen''']]
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[[File:Preserver1e.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19c: Snapshot Schedule Screen''']]
  
Once you click the "Next" button, you can decide whether or not to schedule regular backups, as seen in Figure 8.19d:
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This screen is used to schedule how often a snapshot is taken of the system. The default is to perform one snapshot per day at 1:00 AM. You can either change the time that this one daily snapshot occurs or select to take a snapshot once every hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes or 5 minutes.
  
[[File:Preserver2c.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19d: Selection Screen to Automate Backups and Determine Their Frequency''']]
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After making your selection, press "Next" to see the screen shown in Figure 8.19d.
  
By default, automatic backups are disabled, meaning you will have to manually start a backup when you wish to do so. If you decide to automate backups, you can choose to backup daily or weekly. After making your selection, click "Next" and you will see the informational message in Figure 8.19e:
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[[File:Preserver2d.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19d: Snapshot Pruning Screen''']]
  
[[File:Preserver3.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19e: Life Preserver is Now Ready to Test the Connection to the SSH Server''']]
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This screen schedules how long to keep the created snapshots. By default, the last 7 days of snapshots are stored on the backup server. In other words, once a snapshot becomes older than 7 days, it is deleted on the backup server. You can select to either keep snapshots for so many days or to keep a certain quantity of snapshots.
  
Click the "Finish" button and a terminal will open where you can enter the password for the user account you specified, as seen in the example in Figure 8.19f:
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After making your selection, press "Next" to see the screen shown in Figure 8.19e.
  
[[File:Preserver4.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19f: Logging into the SSH Server''']]
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[[File:Preserver3e.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19e: Replication Server Screen''']]
  
If this is the first time using SSH to connect to this host, you will have to type '''yes''' to accept the RSA key fingerprint before being prompted to type in the password. If the connection is successful, the terminal will close and your new preserver will be listed in the main panel, shown in Figure 8.19g:
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This screen is used to indicate which system to send the backups to. Click the "Replicate my data" box, then input the following information:
  
[[File:Preserver5a.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19g: Life Preserver Shows a New Preserver''']]
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* '''Host Name:''' of the remote system that will store your backup. If the backup server is on your local network, the host name must be in your hosts file or in the database of the local DNS server. You may find it easier to instead input the IP address of the backup server as this will eliminate any host name resolution problems.
  
The entry contains the following information:
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* '''User Name:''' this user must have permission to log in to the system that will hold the backup. If the account does not already exist, you should create it first on the backup server.
  
'''Backup Server:''' will indicate the user account and IP address of the backup server.
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* '''SSH Port:''' port 22, the default port used by SSH is selected for you. You only need to change this if the remote system is using a non-standard port to listen for SSH connections. In that case, use the up/down arrows or type in the port number.
  
'''Last Backup:''' will indicate whether or not there is a last backup and if there is a successful backup, the time and date of that backup. If you chose to automate backups, the first backup will happen immediately. Otherwise, a backup will not occur until you press the "Start" button. How long the first backup takes depends upon the size of your home directory and the speed of your network.  If the backup is unsuccessful, logs can be found in ''/usr/local/share/lifePreserver/preservers/<preserver_name>/logs/''. {{citelink|url=http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4493525/rsync-what-means-the-f-on-rsync-logs|txt=This post}} explains the meaning of the various characters found in the logs.
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* '''Remote Dataset:''' input the name of an existing ZFS dataset on the backup server. This is where the backups will be stored. To get a list of existing datasets, type '''zfs list''' on the remote server. The "NAME" column in the output of that command gives the fullname of each dataset. Type the fullname of the desired dataset into this field. When selecting a dataset, make sure that the selected "User Name" has permission to write to the dataset.
  
'''Frequency:''' will indicate "disabled", "daily", or "weekly".
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Once you have input the information, click "Next" and then "Finish". Life Preserver will check that it can connect to the backup server. A pop-up message will remind you to save the SSH key to a USB stick (as described below) as this key is required should you ever need to perform an operating system restore. It will then add an entry for the backup in the screen shown in Figure 8.19b.  
  
'''Status:''' ''Running…'' indicates that the backup is occurring now, otherwise it will show as ''Not running''.
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You should also create a test snapshot (also described below) to ensure that Life Preserver can successfully replicate to the backup server. The first time you create a test snapshot, you should receive a "OpenSSH Authentication Passphrase Request" pop-up message. Once you click OK, it will prompt for the password of "User Name". Input that user's password to start replication of that snapshot.
  
The backup will be stored on the remote system in the home directory of the user that was used by Life Preserver to login. The contents of the backup will be found in the ''life-preserver/<backup>/'' subdirectory where ''<backup>'' is named according to the date and time stamp of the backup. The contents of the directory will mirror the directory structure of your home directory, making it very easy to find and restore individual files or directories from the backup server to your PC-BSD® system.
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{{note|width=58%|icon64=If you don't receive the pop-up message, check that the firewall on the backup system, or a firewall within the network, is not preventing access to the configured "SSH Port''.}}
  
 
==== Configuration Options ====
 
==== Configuration Options ====
  
If you right-click a preserver and select "Edit", you will see the configuration screen shown in Figure 8.19h.
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Click the entry for a backup to activate its configuration buttons, as shown in Figure 8.19f.
  
[[File:Preserver6b.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19h: Life Preserver Configuration Options''']]
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[[File:Preserver4b.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19f: Life Preserver Entry''']]
  
This screen allows you to configure the following:
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These buttons, from left to right, allow you to:
  
'''Number of backups to keep:''' make sure that there is enough disk space on the backup server to store this amount of backups. If you do daily backups, a setting of 7 will keep a week's worth. If you do weekly backups, a setting of 4 or 5 will keep about a month's worth.
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* '''Enable backups of a new dataset:''' this button will be greyed out if you only have one pool and have already scheduled a backup of the pool. Otherwise, it will start the "New Life Preserver Wizard" as described above.
  
'''Remove incomplete or failed backups:''' by default, Life Preserver attempts to conserve disk space on the backup server by removing any failed backups. Uncheck this box if you are troubleshooting Life Preserver.<noinclude>[[category:troubleshooting]]</noinclude><!-- This category tag causes this page to be included -for referencing this topic -->
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* '''Remove selected dataset from automatic backup:''' if you click this button, a pop-up message will ask if you wish to cancel snapshot creation and replication. If you click "Yes", another pop-up message will ask if you also want to permanently delete all of the snapshots currently stored on the local PC-BSD system.
  
'''Disable automatic backups:''' if this is selected, a backup will only occur when you manually press the "Start" button.
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* '''Customize the backup configuration:''' this will open the screen shown in Figure 8.19g so that you can modify when the backups occur and how long they are stored on the backup server. If you click the "Replication" tab, you will see the screen shown in Figure 8.19h. This allows you to edit the connection information to the backup server. It also adds a "Frequency" option. By default, the backup occurs right after the snapshot is created. You can modify this so that the backup itself occurs at a set time, regardless of when the snapshots are created. For example, if you have configured snapshots to occur every 30 minutes but the replication frequency to occur daily at 2:00 AM, the newly created snapshots won't be copied to the backup server until 2:00 AM.
  
'''Backup daily:''' if this is selected, a backup will occur once per day.
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* '''Manage SSH keys:''' after creating a backup entry, you should immediately generate an SSH key and copy it to a USB stick. To do so, click this button then click "Generate SSH Key". A pop-up message will indicate that the key was successfully generated. Then, insert a FAT32 formatted USB stick and mount it with [[Mount Tray]]. Then, click this button again and select "Copy To USB Stick".
  
'''Backup weekly:''' if this is selected, a backup will occur once per week.
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* '''Make a new snapshot:''' click this button to create a backup now, instead of waiting for the schedule. You should create a test snapshot to make sure that replication occurs successfully. You can also create a snapshot before making changes to a file, so that you can preserve a copy of the previous version of the file. When creating a snapshot, a pop-up message will prompt you to input a name for the snapshot. Once you do, the "Latest Snapshot" field will show the name of the snapshot (with the date and time added). The snapshot itself happens instantaneously, however the replication of the snapshot to the backup server will take some time, depending upon the speed of the network and the size of the snapshot. The Life Preserver icon will change to indicate whenever a replication is in progress.  
  
'''Remote directory:''' a subdirectory with the name you specify will be created in the home directory of the user that logs in to the SSH server. This is the location where backups will be stored. The default subdirectory name is ''life-preserver''.
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* '''Browse a snapshot:''' click this button to browse to the data stored in a snapshot. In the example shown in Figure 8.19i, two test snapshots have been taken: the first was taken on September 10 at 11:02 and the second was taken on September 10 at 11:09. The datasets contained within the ZFS pool are listed and if you hover over a dataset name, such as ''/usr/home/dru'', the available snapshots are listed. If you click a snapshot name, the contents of that dataset at that point in time will be displayed in the "Revert a file" screen. For example, if a file named ''/usr/home/dru/important.odt'' was modified at 11:05 and the user wished to access the previous version of that file, they could browse to it in the ''test-2013-09-10-11-02-23'' snapshot as that snapshot was taken before the file was modified. If you double-click a file, it will restore that file to the version it was at the time the snapshot was taken.
  
'''Modify include list:''' provides a graphical List Editor, seen in Figure 8.19i, for adding files/directories to include in the backup.
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* '''Revert an entire data subset:''' use this option with care as it will restore every single file in the selected dataset to the point-in-time when the snapshot was taken. While this can sometimes be handy if you mess things up in a dataset, it will also overwrite all of the files that were modified since that point-in-time.
  
'''Modify exclude list:''' opens the List Editor in order to add the files/directories to exclude from backups.
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[[File:Preserver5b.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19g: Changing the Backup Schedule''']]
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[[File:Preserver6c.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19h: Changing the Replication Schedule''']]
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[[File:Preserver7c.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19i: Browsing Snapshots''']]
  
[[File:Preserver7b.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19i: Using List Editor to Modify the Include List''']]
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=== Managing Snapshots From the Command Line===
  
When using List Editor, it will indicate whether or not you are editing the include or the exclude list. Use the browse button to select the files or directories that you wish to include or exclude. Alternately, you can type in a wildcard. For example, to select all files ending in the ''.txt'' extension, input '''*.txt'''.
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The '''lpreserver''' command line utility can be used to manage snapshots and replication from the command line of a PC-BSD® or TrueOS® system. This command needs to be run as the superuser. To display its usage, type the command without any arguments:
  
==== Restoring a Backup ====
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'''lpreserver'''
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Life-Preserver                                                                                                                                                                 
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---------------------------------                                                                                                                                               
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Available commands                                                                                                                                                             
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Type in help <command> for information and usage about that command
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      help - This help file or the help for the specified command
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  cronsnap - Schedule snapshot creation via cron
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        get - Get list of lpreserver options
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  listcron - Listing of scheduled snapshots
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  listsnap - List snapshots of a zpool/dataset
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    mksnap - Create a ZFS snapshot of a zpool/dataset
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  replicate - Enable / Disable ZFS replication to a remote system
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revertsnap - Revert zpool/dataset to a snapshot
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    rmsnap - Remove a snapshot
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        set - Set lpreserver options
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    status - List datasets, along with last snapshot / replication date
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      zpool - Manage a zpool by attaching / detaching disks
  
To restore files from a backup, right-click the preserver entry and select "Restore From". Life Preserver will query the backup server and show a list of available backups as seen in the example in Figure 8.19j:
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Each command has its own help text that describes its parameters and provides a usage example. For example, to receive help on how to use the '''lpreserver cronsnap''' command, type:  
  
[[File:Preserver8a.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19j: Selecting a Backup from the List of Available Backups''']]
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'''lpreserver help cronsnap'''
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Life-Preserver
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---------------------------------
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Help cronsnap
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Schedule a ZFS snapshot
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Usage:
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For a listing of all scheduled snapshots
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  # lpreserver listcron
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  or
 +
  To start / stop snapshot scheduling
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  # lpreserver cronsnap <dataset> <action> <frequency> <numToKeep>
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  action = start / stop
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  frequency = daily@XX / hourly / 30min / 10min / 5min
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                    ^^ Hour to execute
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  numToKeep = Number of snapshots to keep total
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Example:
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  lpreserver cronsnap tank1/usr/home/kris start daily@22 10
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  or
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  lpreserver cronsnap tank1/usr/home/kris stop
  
When reading the backup name, the number before the "T" is the date in YYYY-MM-DD format and the number after the T is the date stamp in HH_MM_SS format. Highlight the backup you wish to restore and click the "Select Backup" button to open the window seen in Figure 8.19k:
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Table 8.19a shows the command line equivalents to the graphical options provided by the Life Preserver GUI. Note that some options are only available from the command line.  
  
[[File:Preserver9a.png|thumb|'''Figure 8.19k: Selecting the Files to Restore''']]
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'''Table 8.19a: Command Line and GUI Equivalents'''
  
If you wish to restore an individual file or directory, input its full path. In the example shown in Figure 8.19k, the user is restoring the directory ''/usr/home/dru/Documents''--in other words, the ''Documents'' subfolder backed up from the home directory of the user named dru.
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{| border="1"
 +
|'''Command Line'''   
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|'''GUI''' 
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|'''Description'''
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|-
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|cronsnap
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|Customize the backup configuration ➜ Local Snapshots
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|schedule when snapshots occur and how long to keep them; the "stop" option can be used to disable snapshot creation
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|-
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|get
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|
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|list Life Preserver options
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|-
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|listcron
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|main screen of Life Preserver
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|list which ZFS pools have a scheduled snapshot
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|-
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|listsnap
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|Browse a snapshot
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|list snapshots of specified dataset
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|-
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|mksnap
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|Make a new snapshot
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|create and replicate a new ZFS snapshot; by default, snapshots are recursive, meaning that a snapshot is taken of every dataset within a pool
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|-
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|replicate
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|Customize the backup configuration ➜ Replication
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|used to list, add, and remove backup server; read the '''help''' for this command for examples
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|-
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|revertsnap
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|Revert an entire data subset
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|revert dataset to the specified snapshot version
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|-
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|rmsnap
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|Remove selected dataset from automatic backup
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|deletes specified snapshot; by default, all datasets within the snapshot are deleted
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|-
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|set
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|
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|configures Life Preserver options; read '''help''' for the list of configurable options
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|-
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|status
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|main screen of Life Preserver
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|lists the last snapshot name and replication status
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|-
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|zpool
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|
 +
|used to attach/detach drives from the pool; read '''help''' for examples
 +
|-
 +
|}
  
If you just input the name of the file or directory and click the "Restore" button, it will be restored to its original location and replace any files with the same name at that location.
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===Backing Up to a FreeNAS System===
  
If you instead check the "Restore Relative to specified directory" box, the selected file/directory will be restored to the location you specify.
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{{citelink|url=http://www.freenas.org|txt=FreeNAS®}} is an open source Networked Attached Storage (NAS) operating system based on FreeBSD. This operating system is designed to be installed onto a USB stick or CF card so that it is kept separate from the storage disk(s) installed on the system. You can download the latest version of FreeNAS® as well as a PDF of its Users Guide from the [http://www.freenas.org/download-releases.html download page] of the FreeNAS® website.
  
=== Managing Backups From the Command Line===
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This section demonstrates how to configure FreeNAS® 9.1.1 as the backup server for Life Preserver to replicate to. It assumes that you have already installed this version of FreeNAS® using the installation instructions in the FreeNAS® 9.1.1 Users Guide.
  
 
=== Restoring the Operating System From a Life Preserver Backup ===
 
=== Restoring the Operating System From a Life Preserver Backup ===
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[[File:Restore1.png]]
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=== Troubleshooting Replication ===
  
 
<noinclude>
 
<noinclude>

Revision as of 12:37, 10 September 2013

(Sorry for the inconvenience)

Contents

THIS IS CHANGING DAILY AS MORE FEATURES ARE BEING ADDED PRIOR TO 9.2 RELEASE

The built-in Life Preserver utility was redesigned for 9.2 to take full advantage of ZFS snapshot functionality. This utility now allows you to schedule snapshots of a ZFS pool and to securely replicate those snapshots to another system using rsync and SSH. This design provides several benefits:

  • a snapshot provides a "point-in-time" image of the ZFS pool. In one way, this is similar to a full system backup as the snapshot contains the information for the entire filesystem. However, it has several advantages over a full backup. Snapshots occur instantaneously, meaning that the filesystem does not need to be unmounted and you can continue to use applications on your system as the snapshot is created. Since snapshots contain the meta-data ZFS uses to access files, the snapshots themselves are small and subsequent snapshots only contain the changes that occurred since the last snapshot was taken. This space efficiency means that you can take snapshots often. Snapshots also provide a convenient way to access previous versions of files as you can simply browse to the point-in-time for the version of the file that you need. Life Preserver makes it easy to configure when snapshots are taken and provides a built-in graphical browser for finding and restoring the files within a snapshot.
  • replication is an efficient way to keep the files on two systems in sync. In the case of Life Preserver, the snapshots taken on the PC-BSD system will be synchronized with their versions stored on the backup server.
  • SSH means that the snapshots will be sent to the backup server oven an encrypted connection, which protects the contents of the snapshots.

When choosing which system to use as the backup server, keep the following points in mind:

  • the backup server must be formatted with the latest version of ZFS, also known as ZFS feature flags or ZFSv5000. Operating systems that support this version of ZFS include PC-BSD 9.2, FreeBSD 9.2, and FreeNAS 9.1.x.
  • that system must have rsync and SSH installed and the SSH service must be running. If the backup server is running PC-BSD, rsync and SSH are already installed and you can start SSH using Service Manager. If that system is running FreeNAS, rsync and SSH are already installed. How to configure these services is described in Backing Up to a FreeNAS System. If the system is running FreeBSD, SSH is already installed. You will need to install rsync and start SSH.
  • if the backup server is running PC-BSD, you will need to open TCP ports 22 (SSH) and 873 (rsync) using Firewall Manager. If the server is running FreeBSD and a firewall has been configured, add rules to open these ports in the firewall ruleset. FreeNAS does not run a firewall by default.
Figure 8.19a: Life Preserver Icon in System Tray

Managing Snapshots Using the GUI

An icon to the Life Preserver utility, seen in Figure 8.19a, can be found in the system tray.

To remove the icon from the system tray, right-click it. To re-add it to the tray, go to Control Panel ➜ Life Preserver or type pc-su life-preserver & at the command line. If your desktop manager does not provide a system tray, you will need to instead manage backups from the command line.

To open the screen shown in Figure 8.19b, double-click the Life Preserver icon. Click the "+" button and select the name of the ZFS pool to backup. Unless you configured a custom pool name during installation, it will be tank. This will launch the the "New Life Preserver Wizard", allowing you to configure the backup schedule. Click "Next" to see the screen in Figure 8.19c.

Figure 8.19b: Life Preserver Screen
Figure 8.19c: Snapshot Schedule Screen

This screen is used to schedule how often a snapshot is taken of the system. The default is to perform one snapshot per day at 1:00 AM. You can either change the time that this one daily snapshot occurs or select to take a snapshot once every hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes or 5 minutes.

After making your selection, press "Next" to see the screen shown in Figure 8.19d.

Figure 8.19d: Snapshot Pruning Screen

This screen schedules how long to keep the created snapshots. By default, the last 7 days of snapshots are stored on the backup server. In other words, once a snapshot becomes older than 7 days, it is deleted on the backup server. You can select to either keep snapshots for so many days or to keep a certain quantity of snapshots.

After making your selection, press "Next" to see the screen shown in Figure 8.19e.

Figure 8.19e: Replication Server Screen

This screen is used to indicate which system to send the backups to. Click the "Replicate my data" box, then input the following information:

  • Host Name: of the remote system that will store your backup. If the backup server is on your local network, the host name must be in your hosts file or in the database of the local DNS server. You may find it easier to instead input the IP address of the backup server as this will eliminate any host name resolution problems.
  • User Name: this user must have permission to log in to the system that will hold the backup. If the account does not already exist, you should create it first on the backup server.
  • SSH Port: port 22, the default port used by SSH is selected for you. You only need to change this if the remote system is using a non-standard port to listen for SSH connections. In that case, use the up/down arrows or type in the port number.
  • Remote Dataset: input the name of an existing ZFS dataset on the backup server. This is where the backups will be stored. To get a list of existing datasets, type zfs list on the remote server. The "NAME" column in the output of that command gives the fullname of each dataset. Type the fullname of the desired dataset into this field. When selecting a dataset, make sure that the selected "User Name" has permission to write to the dataset.

Once you have input the information, click "Next" and then "Finish". Life Preserver will check that it can connect to the backup server. A pop-up message will remind you to save the SSH key to a USB stick (as described below) as this key is required should you ever need to perform an operating system restore. It will then add an entry for the backup in the screen shown in Figure 8.19b.

You should also create a test snapshot (also described below) to ensure that Life Preserver can successfully replicate to the backup server. The first time you create a test snapshot, you should receive a "OpenSSH Authentication Passphrase Request" pop-up message. Once you click OK, it will prompt for the password of "User Name". Input that user's password to start replication of that snapshot.

ANMERKUNG: If you don't receive the pop-up message, check that the firewall on the backup system, or a firewall within the network, is not preventing access to the configured "SSH Port.

Configuration Options

Click the entry for a backup to activate its configuration buttons, as shown in Figure 8.19f.

Figure 8.19f: Life Preserver Entry

These buttons, from left to right, allow you to:

  • Enable backups of a new dataset: this button will be greyed out if you only have one pool and have already scheduled a backup of the pool. Otherwise, it will start the "New Life Preserver Wizard" as described above.
  • Remove selected dataset from automatic backup: if you click this button, a pop-up message will ask if you wish to cancel snapshot creation and replication. If you click "Yes", another pop-up message will ask if you also want to permanently delete all of the snapshots currently stored on the local PC-BSD system.
  • Customize the backup configuration: this will open the screen shown in Figure 8.19g so that you can modify when the backups occur and how long they are stored on the backup server. If you click the "Replication" tab, you will see the screen shown in Figure 8.19h. This allows you to edit the connection information to the backup server. It also adds a "Frequency" option. By default, the backup occurs right after the snapshot is created. You can modify this so that the backup itself occurs at a set time, regardless of when the snapshots are created. For example, if you have configured snapshots to occur every 30 minutes but the replication frequency to occur daily at 2:00 AM, the newly created snapshots won't be copied to the backup server until 2:00 AM.
  • Manage SSH keys: after creating a backup entry, you should immediately generate an SSH key and copy it to a USB stick. To do so, click this button then click "Generate SSH Key". A pop-up message will indicate that the key was successfully generated. Then, insert a FAT32 formatted USB stick and mount it with Mount Tray. Then, click this button again and select "Copy To USB Stick".
  • Make a new snapshot: click this button to create a backup now, instead of waiting for the schedule. You should create a test snapshot to make sure that replication occurs successfully. You can also create a snapshot before making changes to a file, so that you can preserve a copy of the previous version of the file. When creating a snapshot, a pop-up message will prompt you to input a name for the snapshot. Once you do, the "Latest Snapshot" field will show the name of the snapshot (with the date and time added). The snapshot itself happens instantaneously, however the replication of the snapshot to the backup server will take some time, depending upon the speed of the network and the size of the snapshot. The Life Preserver icon will change to indicate whenever a replication is in progress.
  • Browse a snapshot: click this button to browse to the data stored in a snapshot. In the example shown in Figure 8.19i, two test snapshots have been taken: the first was taken on September 10 at 11:02 and the second was taken on September 10 at 11:09. The datasets contained within the ZFS pool are listed and if you hover over a dataset name, such as /usr/home/dru, the available snapshots are listed. If you click a snapshot name, the contents of that dataset at that point in time will be displayed in the "Revert a file" screen. For example, if a file named /usr/home/dru/important.odt was modified at 11:05 and the user wished to access the previous version of that file, they could browse to it in the test-2013-09-10-11-02-23 snapshot as that snapshot was taken before the file was modified. If you double-click a file, it will restore that file to the version it was at the time the snapshot was taken.
  • Revert an entire data subset: use this option with care as it will restore every single file in the selected dataset to the point-in-time when the snapshot was taken. While this can sometimes be handy if you mess things up in a dataset, it will also overwrite all of the files that were modified since that point-in-time.
Figure 8.19g: Changing the Backup Schedule
Figure 8.19h: Changing the Replication Schedule
Figure 8.19i: Browsing Snapshots

Managing Snapshots From the Command Line

The lpreserver command line utility can be used to manage snapshots and replication from the command line of a PC-BSD® or TrueOS® system. This command needs to be run as the superuser. To display its usage, type the command without any arguments:

lpreserver
Life-Preserver                                                                                                                                                                   
---------------------------------                                                                                                                                                
Available commands                                                                                                                                                               
Type in help <command> for information and usage about that command
      help - This help file or the help for the specified command
  cronsnap - Schedule snapshot creation via cron
       get - Get list of lpreserver options
  listcron - Listing of scheduled snapshots
  listsnap - List snapshots of a zpool/dataset
    mksnap - Create a ZFS snapshot of a zpool/dataset
 replicate - Enable / Disable ZFS replication to a remote system
revertsnap - Revert zpool/dataset to a snapshot
    rmsnap - Remove a snapshot
       set - Set lpreserver options
    status - List datasets, along with last snapshot / replication date 
     zpool - Manage a zpool by attaching / detaching disks

Each command has its own help text that describes its parameters and provides a usage example. For example, to receive help on how to use the lpreserver cronsnap command, type:

lpreserver help cronsnap
Life-Preserver
---------------------------------
Help cronsnap
Schedule a ZFS snapshot
Usage:
For a listing of all scheduled snapshots
 # lpreserver listcron
 or
 To start / stop snapshot scheduling
 # lpreserver cronsnap <dataset> <action> <frequency> <numToKeep>
 action = start / stop
 frequency = daily@XX / hourly / 30min / 10min / 5min
                   ^^ Hour to execute
 numToKeep = Number of snapshots to keep total
Example:
 lpreserver cronsnap tank1/usr/home/kris start daily@22 10
 or
 lpreserver cronsnap tank1/usr/home/kris stop

Table 8.19a shows the command line equivalents to the graphical options provided by the Life Preserver GUI. Note that some options are only available from the command line.

Table 8.19a: Command Line and GUI Equivalents

Command Line GUI Description
cronsnap Customize the backup configuration ➜ Local Snapshots schedule when snapshots occur and how long to keep them; the "stop" option can be used to disable snapshot creation
get list Life Preserver options
listcron main screen of Life Preserver list which ZFS pools have a scheduled snapshot
listsnap Browse a snapshot list snapshots of specified dataset
mksnap Make a new snapshot create and replicate a new ZFS snapshot; by default, snapshots are recursive, meaning that a snapshot is taken of every dataset within a pool
replicate Customize the backup configuration ➜ Replication used to list, add, and remove backup server; read the help for this command for examples
revertsnap Revert an entire data subset revert dataset to the specified snapshot version
rmsnap Remove selected dataset from automatic backup deletes specified snapshot; by default, all datasets within the snapshot are deleted
set configures Life Preserver options; read help for the list of configurable options
status main screen of Life Preserver lists the last snapshot name and replication status
zpool used to attach/detach drives from the pool; read help for examples

Backing Up to a FreeNAS System

FreeNAS®[1] is an open source Networked Attached Storage (NAS) operating system based on FreeBSD. This operating system is designed to be installed onto a USB stick or CF card so that it is kept separate from the storage disk(s) installed on the system. You can download the latest version of FreeNAS® as well as a PDF of its Users Guide from the download page of the FreeNAS® website.

This section demonstrates how to configure FreeNAS® 9.1.1 as the backup server for Life Preserver to replicate to. It assumes that you have already installed this version of FreeNAS® using the installation instructions in the FreeNAS® 9.1.1 Users Guide.

Restoring the Operating System From a Life Preserver Backup

Restore1.png

Troubleshooting Replication

Verweise


  1. http://www.freenas.org
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