Using Subversion for Server Backups

Last month, I lost the template for Barry Bakes. I was ultimately to blame for it for 2 reasons:

  1. I had altered the default template without copying everything to a new folder.
  2. I had no server backups running.

After a few iterations, I came up with an ingenious way to use subversion and rsync to handle my backups and not waste megabytes every day from duplication. Also, this method doesn’t leave you with a folder full of backup folders. There are 2 folders, the svn repository and the rsync folder.

To do this, you must generate dsa  or rsa keys for passwordless logins.

To set it up svn, you must do the following:

svn create /path/to/svn/repository
rsync -azvv --progress server:/path/ /local/path/
cd /parent/of/local/path/
svn import folder file:///path/to/svn/repository -m 'Initial Import'
rm folder -rf
svn co file:///path/to/svn/repository

Note that everything in bold must be replaced with your specific values. Once that is done, run this shell script once a day to commit changes to subversion:


/usr/bin/rsync -azvv --delete --progress server:/path/ /local/path/
cd /parent/of/local/path/
/usr/bin/svn status |
	/bin/grep '^?' |
	/bin/sed 's/^?       /svn add "/g' |
	/bin/sed 's/$/"/g' |
/usr/bin/svn status |
	/bin/grep '^!' |
	/bin/sed 's/^?       /svn delete "/g' |
	/bin/sed 's/$/"/g' |
/usr/bin/svn commit -m '`date +%Y-%m-%d`'
/usr/bin/svn update

That will update and commit the changes to subversion. It comments the date in yyyy-mm-dd format for each commit. Plus, now you can checkout any date (revision) you want!

Happy Backup