AutoArchive is a simple utility to help create backups more easily. The idea of the program is that all essential information for creating a single backup—such as list of directories that should be archived, the archive name, etc.—is stored in a single file – the archive specification file. It can use tar for creating archives, it has a command line interface and supports incremental backups.
Archive specification files, also called ”.aa files” are normally stored in a predefined location from where they are
processed by the
aa command which results to creating of a corresponding backup for each.
autoarchive is alias for
aa; these commands are equivalent.
Most of the options can be specified also in configuration files and in the archive specification file (by using
the long option form and leaving out leading dashes) – see Configuration File and Archive Specification File for complete list of options that
can be specified there. Command line options has higher priority than options in configuration files but lower
priority than the ones in the archive specification file.
--force-* options are available for the purpose of
overriding some of the options specified in the .aa file.
Boolean options can also have a negation form defined. It has the “no-” prefix before the option name. For example:
--no-incremental. The negation form has always higher priority than the normal form.
List of command line options
Commands for program’s operations. The default operation is the backup creation if no command is specified.
--list Show all configured or orphaned archives. --purge Purge stored data for an orphaned archive. --version Show program’s version number and exit. -h, --help Show this help message and exit.
-a ARCHIVER, --archiver=ARCHIVER Specify archiver type. Supported types are: ‘tar’, ‘targz’, ‘tarbz2’, ‘tarxz’, ‘tar_internal’, ‘targz_internal’, ‘tarbz2_internal’ (default: targz). -c NUM, --compression-level=NUM Compression strength level. If not specified, default behaviour of underlying compression program will be used. -d DIR_PATH, --dest-dir=DIR_PATH Directory where the backup will be created (default: <current directory>).
Incremental archiving options:
-i, --incremental Perform incremental backup. -l LEVEL, --level=LEVEL Specify backup level which should be created. All information about higher levels—if any exists—will be erased. If not present, the next level in a row will be created. --restarting Turn on backup level restarting. See other
*restart-*options to configure the restarting behaviour.
--restart-after-level=LEVEL Maximal backup level. If reached, it will be restarted back to a lower level (which is typically level 1 but it depends on
--max-restart-level-size) (default: 10).
--restart-after-age=DAYS Number of days after which the backup level is restarted. Similarly to
--restart-after-levelit will be restarted to level 1 or higher.
--full-restart-after-count=COUNT Number of backup level restarts after which the level is restarted to 0. --full-restart-after-age=DAYS Number of days after which the backup level is restarted to 0. --max-restart-level-size=PERCENTAGE Maximal percentage size of a backup (of level > 0) to which level is allowed restart to. The size is percentage of size of the level 0 backup file. If a backup of particular level has its size bigger than defined percentage, restart to that level will not be allowed. --remove-obsolete-backups Turn on removing backups of levels that are no longer valid due to the backup level restart. All backups of the backup level higher than the one currently being created will be removed.
Options for keeping old backups
-k, --keep-old-backups Turn on backup keeping. When a backup is about to be overwritten, it is renamed instead. If
--incrementalis enabled it applies to all corresponding increments. The new name is created by inserting a keeping ID in front of backup file(s) extension. The keeping ID is a string from interval ‘aa’, ‘ab’, ..., ‘zy’, ‘zz’ where ‘aa’ represents most recent kept backup.
--number-of-old-backups=NUM Number of old backups to keep when
--keep-old-backupsis enabled (default: 1).
Command execution options
--command-before-all-backups=COMMAND_BEFORE_ALL Arbitrary command that will be executed before backup creation for the set of selected archives. The command will be executed only once in a single invocation of AutoArchive. --command-after-all-backups=COMMAND_AFTER_ALL Arbitrary command that will be executed after backup creation for the set of selected archives. The command will be executed only once in a single invocation of AutoArchive. --command-before-backup=COMMAND_BEFORE Arbitrary command to execute prior to each backup creation. --command-after-backup=COMMAND_AFTER Arbitrary command to execute after each backup creation.
Format of COMMAND_* arguments is:command [arguments]
If arguments are specified then the whole expression should be enclosed in quotes. For example:--command-before-backup="foo arg1"
Additionally if an argument contains spaces it should be enclosed as well:--command-after-backup="foo arg1 'arg with spaces 2' arg3"
-v, --verbose Turn on verbose output. -q, --quiet Turn on quiet output. Only errors will be shown. If
--quietis turned on at the same level as
--verbose(e. g. both are specified on the command line) then
--quiethas higher priority than
--all Operate on all configured archives. See also
If enabled, backups are overwritten at the start of creation. If disabled (default), backups are overwritten at the end of creation. Enabling this option can be useful with big backups and low free space on the backup volume.
aa datacommand will create backup /backups/data.tar.gz. If a file with the same name already exists in /backups then – in case this option is enabled – it will be overwritten as soon as creation of the new backup starts. If the option is not enabled the new backup will be first created under a temporary name leaving the old backup untouched. After the new backup is fully created it is renamed to /backups/data.tar.gz overwriting the old one.
--archive-specs-dir=DIR_PATH Directory where archive specification files will be searched for (default: ~/.config/aa/archive_specs). --user-config-file=FILE_PATH Alternate user configuration file (default: ~/.config/aa/aa.conf). --user-config-dir=DIR_PATH Alternate user configuration directory (default: ~/.config/aa).
Options to override standard options defined in archive specification files.
--force-archiver=ARCHIVER Force archiver type. Supported types are: ‘tar’, ‘targz’, ‘tarbz2’, ‘tarxz’, ‘tar_internal’, ‘targz_internal’, ‘tarbz2_internal’. --force-incremental Force incremental backup. --force-restarting Force backup level restarting. --force-compression-level=NUM Force compression strength level. --force-dest-dir=DIR_PATH Force the directory where the backup will be created. --force-command-before-backup=COMMAND_BEFORE Force configuration of the command to execute prior to each backup creation. --force-command-after-backup=COMMAND_AFTER Force configuration of the command to execute after each backup creation. --force-overwrite-at-start Force backup overwriting behavior.
Negative variants of standard boolean options.
--no-incremental Disable incremental backup. --no-restarting Turn off backup level restarting. --no-remove-obsolete-backups Turn off obsolete backups removing. --no-keep-old-backups Turn off backup keeping. --no-all Do not operate on all configured archives. --no-overwrite-at-start Do not overwrite backup at the start of creation. Overwrite after the new backup is created.
AA_SPEC is the archive specification file argument. It determines the archive specification file that shall be
processed. None, single or multiple AA_SPEC arguments are allowed. If option
--all or command
specified then no AA_SPEC argument is required. Otherwise at least single AA_SPEC argument is required. If it
contains the ”.aa” extension then it is taken as the path to an archive specification file. Otherwise, if specified
without the extension, the corresponding .aa file is searched in the archive specifications directory.
AutoArchive can return following exit codes:
- 0: The operation finished successfully.
- 1: The operation finished with minor (warnings) or major (errors) issues.
- User configuration file. See Configuration File for its description.
- Default directory that contains archive specification files. See Archive Specification File for description of the .aa file format.
- Files that stores information about incremental backup. They are created by GNU tar archiver.
- Application internal persistent storage. It stores various data needed to be preserved between program runs. For example: last backup level restart, number of backup level restart, etc.
- System configuration file. See Configuration File for its description.