Backups & Restore

Departmental Backups

Files in your unix home directory or under project space are automatically backed up several times each day. A snapshot (see below) of filesystems on the main fileserver are taken every few hours and a tape backup is generated every few days.

Personal Backups

For important work or projects that you will not be able to function without, consider archiving files periodically onto CD/DVD or other media not on the host machine.

Restoring Files


Snapshots are a read-only backup of filesystem directories taken periodically. Files in your home directory, project directory, etc all have snapshots. If files have become corrupted or are inadvertently deleted, copies can be recovered from your local .snapshot directory. From the directory you want to restore, cd .snapshot (note that it is not visible until you change into it), then into the appropriate subdirectory where you will find a copy of your files. To recover simply use the unix cp command to copy files from the .snapshot directory back into the appropriate directory.

Long term file recovery

Contact labstaff if you need to recover files that have migrated out of the .snapshot directory. We are now using file level backups, so retention times vary:
  • If a file is edited/replaced, one previous version is kept up to 30 days
  • If a file is deleted, the last version is kept up to 90 days
Please check the .snapshot directory for recent copies or for other copies of the file before requesting it be restored from tape.

-- StevenLindsey - 09 Sep 2016
Topic revision: r14 - 09 Sep 2016, StevenLindsey
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