The built-in Life Preserver utility
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 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.
Creating a Backup Schedule
You will need to 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.
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 8.18g:
The entry contains the following information:
Backup Server: will indicate the user account and IP address of the backup server.
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/.explains the meaning of the various characters found in the logs.
Frequency: will indicate "disabled", "daily", or "weekly".
Status: Running… indicates that the backup is occurring now, otherwise it will show as Not running.
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.
This screen allows you to configure the following:
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.
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.
Disable automatic backups: if this is selected, a backup will only occur when you manually press the "Start" button.
Backup daily: if this is selected, a backup will occur once per day.
Backup weekly: if this is selected, a backup will occur once per week.
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.
Modify include list: provides a graphical List Editor, seen in Figure 8.18i, for adding files/directories to include in the backup.
Modify exclude list: opens the List Editor in order to add the files/directories to exclude from backups.
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.
Restoring a Backup
If you wish to restore an individual file or directory, input its full path. In the example shown in Figure 8.18k, 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.
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.