System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Options and Arguments for the ufsdump Command

This section describes in detail the options and arguments for the ufsdump command. The syntax for the ufsdump command is:

/usr/sbin/ufsdump [options] [arguments] files-to-back-up


Is a single string of one-letter option names. 


Identifies option arguments and might be multiple strings. The option letters and the arguments that go with them must be in the same order. 


Identifies the files to back up; and these arguments must always come last. 

Default ufsdump Options

If you run the ufsdump command without any options, use this syntax:

# ufsdump files-to-back-up

ufsdump uses these options, by default:

ufsdump 9uf /dev/rmt/0 files-to-back-up

These options do a level 9 incremental backup to the default tape drive at its preferred density.

Options for the ufsdump Command

The table below describes the options for the ufsdump command.

Table 45-2 Options for the ufsdump Command




Backup level. Level 0 is for a full backup of the whole file system specified by files-to-backup. Levels 1-9 are for incremental backups of files that have changed since the last lower-level backup.

a archive-file

Archive file. Store (archive) a backup table of contents in a specified file on the disk. The file can be understood only by ufsrestore, which uses it to determine whether a file to be restored is present in a backup file, and if so, on which volume of the media it resides.

b factor

Blocking factor. The number of 512-byte blocks to write to tape at a time. 


Cartridge. Back up to cartridge tape. When end-of-media detection applies, this option sets the block size to 126. 

d bpi

Tape density. You need to use this option only when ufsdump cannot detect the end of the media.


Diskette. Back up to diskette. 

f dump-file

Dump file. Write the files to the destination specified by dump-file instead of the default device. If the file is specified as user@system:device, ufsdump attempts to execute as the specified user on the remote system. The specified user must have a /.rhosts file on the remote system that allows the user invoking the command on the local system to access the remote system.


Autoload. Use this option if you have an autoloading (stackloader) tape drive. When the end of a tape is reached, this option takes the drive offline and waits up to two minutes for the tape drive to be ready again. If the drive is ready within two minutes, it continues. If it is not ready after two minutes, it prompts the operator to load another tape. 


Notify. When intervention is needed, send a message to all terminals of all users in the sys group.


Offline. When finished with a tape or diskette, take the drive offline, rewind (if tape), and if possible remove the media (for example, eject a diskette or remove 8-mm autoloaded tape). 

s size

Size. Specify the length of tapes in feet or number of 1024-byte blocks for diskettes. You need to use this option only when ufsdump cannot detect the end of the media.


Estimate size of backup. Determine the amount of space that is needed to perform the backup, without actually doing it, and output a single number indicating the estimated size of the backup in bytes. 

t tracks

Tracks. Specify the number of tracks for 1/4-inch cartridge tape. You need to use this option only when ufsdump cannot detect the end of the media.


Update the dump record. For a completed backup on a file system, add an entry to the /etc/dumpdates file. The entry indicates the device name for the file system's disk slice, the backup level (0-9), and the date. No record is written when you do not use the u option or when you back up individual files or directories. If a record already exists for a backup at the same level, it is replaced.


Verify. After each tape or diskette is written, verify the contents of the media against the source file system. If any discrepancies occur, prompt the operator to mount new media, then repeat the process. Use this option only on an unmounted file system, because any activity in the file system causes it to report discrepancies. 


Warning. List the file systems appearing in /etc/dumpdates that have not been backed up within a day. When you use this option all other options are ignored.


Warning with highlight. Show all the file systems that appear in /etc/dumpdates and highlight those file systems that have not been backed up within a day. When you use this option all other options are ignored.

Note -

The /etc/vfstab file does not contain information about how often to back up a file system.