System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Overview of the Backup and Restore Commands

The ufsdump and ufsrestore commands are the recommended commands for scheduled backups of complete file systems. The table below lists the tasks you can perform with them. For information on how these commands work and their syntax, see Chapter 45, The ufsdump and ufsrestore Commands (Reference).

Table 42-5 Tasks You Can Perform With the ufsdump and ufsrestore Commands

With This Command ... 

You Can ... 



Back up complete or partial file systems to local or remote tape drives 

The tape device can be on any system in the network to which the user has access. This command works quickly because it is aware of the structure of the UFS file system type, and works directly through the raw device interface. 


Back up incremental file system changes 

This enables you to back up only those files that were changed since a previous backup. 


Back up groups of systems over the network from a single system 


You can run ufsdump from one system on each remote system through a remote shell or remote login, and direct the output to the system on which the drive is located. Or, you can pipe the output to the dd command or a file.


Automate backups 


Use the crontab utility to run a script that starts the ufsdump command.


Restrict user access to backup tables 

Use the -a option.


Determine the size of a backup without actually doing the backup 

Use the -S option.


Keep a log of when each file system was backed up 

Use the -u option.


Verify the contents of the tape against the source file system 

Use the -v option.


Restore individual or complete file systems from a local or remote tape drive