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Last pushed: a year ago
Short Description
a rbme image to run backup for my fileserver
Full Description

Some changes to original rbme:

  1. Add Dockerfile to let rbme run
  2. Add heirloom-mailx package, because it can specify SMTP relay host
  3. Use mailx to send mail in /usr/bin/rbme
  4. Add env variable: SMTP_HOST, SMTP_USER, SMTP_PASSWORD to specify external smtp server
  5. Add env variable: PURPOSE to describe what you want to backup, which will be used as email subject

Start command:

  1. Enter bash and run rbme for test
    docker run -v /mnt/backup:/backup -v /root/.ssh:/root/.ssh/ -e PURPOSE="Backup my file server" -e -e RBME_MAILTO="" -e -e SMTP_USER=username -e SMTP_PASSWORD=password -it jimme/rbme
  2. Backup my ftp server to a disk mounted to /mnt/backup
    docker run --net=host -v /mnt/backup:/backup -v /root/.ssh:/root/.ssh/ -e PURPOSE="Backup my file server" -e -e RBME_MAILTO="" -e -e SMTP_USER=username -e SMTP_PASSWORD=password -it jimme/rbme rbme

Please make sure you can ssh without password, or else the backup will fail

original readme:




Using rsync for backups is becoming more and more popular on UNIX/Linux
systems. Especially the variant with hardlinks on the backup media to conserve
disk space has proven itself to be a very reliable backup solution. The method
is already widely published on the Internet (e.g. this is a nice introduction),
so that I will save myself the trouble of repeating it.

In a nutshell you get perpetual incremental backups that appear as full backups
(for each day) and thus allow easy restore or further copying to tape etc.
After the initial full backup RBME will forever do incremental backups against
the last backup to conserve time and network bandwidth.

RBME is a simple tool to assist in implementing a general backup solution based
on rsync and hardlinks with an automated management of the disk space on the
backup media. This is achieved by removing old backups from the backup media in
a way which will ensure that (over the long run) the amount of backups should
even out for all hosts involved.

This is also the major reason for me to write this script, I didn't find a
suitable script (that would manage the backup space and also watch the inodes)
when I needed it. The other reason is of course the fact that studying another
script would take at least the same time as writing my own and in such cases I
tend to write my own.


RBME expects you to provide a (large) backup space, preferably on a filesystem
of its own (it makes the disk space management easier). After configuring RBME
with your backup path and the thresholds that seem appropriate for your
environment, simply run rbme for each backup host. By default it will use rsync
over ssh to copy that host to the backup filesystem (Use ssh -c blowfish-cbc to
somewhat speed up your backups by choosing a faster cipher, if your security
policy allows for that). Example:

rbme host3 host2 host1

This example will simply backup the hosts host3, host2 and host1 to your backup
space. Every day on which you run RBME it will produce a new subdirectory in the
backup space for that day, so that over time your backup space will look like

|-- host3/
| |-- 2007-09-02/
| |-- 2007-09-03/
| |-- 2007-09-05/
| |-- 2007-09-06/
| |-- 2007-09-07/
| |-- 2007-09-08/
| |-- 2007-09-09/
| |-- 2007-09-10/
| -- 2007-09-11/ |-- host2/ | |-- 2007-09-02/ | |-- 2007-09-03/ | |-- 2007-09-05/ | |-- 2007-09-06/ | |-- 2007-09-07/ | |-- 2007-09-08/ | |-- 2007-09-09/ | |-- 2007-09-10/ |-- 2007-09-11/
-- host1/ |-- 2007-09-05/ |-- 2007-09-06/ |-- 2007-09-07/ |-- 2007-09-08/ |-- 2007-09-09/ |-- 2007-09-10/-- 2007-09-11/

Under each date subdirectory you will find a complete copy of the host from
that day. Usually RBME is run from cron on a daily or nightly base to keep all
hosts always backed up.


RBME produces a nice report of it's activities that serves as a daily backup

RSYNC BACKUP MADE EASY version 1.4 / 2008-05-20
Copyright (C) 2006,2008 Schlomo Schapiro, probusiness Berlin AG
Licensed under the GNU General Public License, see for full text

rbme backing up to /media/backup (30127 MB & 20183270 inodes available)
Free disk space requirements:
20000 MB & 100000 inodes before host backup
30000 MB & 200000 inodes after host backup

Backup of 'mars:/' in mars/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:03:28
The backup for mars utilizes 81 MB & 19814 inodes

Backup of 'lucky:/ /home /var /media/nfsroot /media/install/sles10sp1' in lucky/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:59:53
The backup for lucky utilizes 1862 MB & 174457 inodes
Removing old backups to free some disk space
Oldest backup (from 124): 2007-11-27
Having 28184 MB & 19988997 inodes, deleting /media/backup/lucky/2007-11-27 in 939 seconds.
Having 29737 MB & 20161230 inodes, deleting /media/backup/lucky/2007-11-28 in 931 seconds.

Backup of 'gw:/' in gw/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:00:25
The backup for gw utilizes 17 MB & 2174 inodes

Backup of 'web:/' in web/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:02:43
The backup for web utilizes 95 MB & 8552 inodes

Backup of 'mysql:/' in mysql/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:01:14
The backup for mysql utilizes 42 MB & 5436 inodes

Backup of 'mail:/' in mail/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:01:22
The backup for mail utilizes 40 MB & 5859 inodes

Backup of 'po:/' in po/2008-05-10 against 2008-05-09
Backup runtime was 00:05:11
The backup for po utilizes 281 MB & 6951 inodes

Backup Summary:

Backup targets:

lucky:/ /home /var /media/nfsroot /media/install/sles10sp1

All 7 targets backed up successfully.

Backup filesystem has now 30819 MB available
Backup filesystem has now 20304589 inodes available
Total runtime was 01:45:51

See '/var/log/rbme.log.10' for full details.

Distribution of backup history:

Backups % Target
204 12.26 gw
123 7.39 lucky
307 18.46 mail
177 10.64 mars
312 18.76 mysql
260 15.63 po

   280     16.83   web

Thank you for using RSYNC BACKUP MADE EASY

You should use the information about inode requirements to fine-tune the RBME
configuration to guarantee sufficient free inodes before the backup starts. The
amount of used MB and inodes gives an indication about the change rate of each
host as only changed files (or new directories) occupy new inodes. Finally RBME
gives a short statistical overview about the amount of old backups kept for
each host.


RBME comes with a configuration file in /etc/rbme.conf where you should set
your own values for the amount of free space or inodes that RBME should keep on
your backup filesystem (hence better to use a dedicated filesystem). You can
also set how many backups to always keep, even if it would mean violation the
disk space thresholds. This ensures to always keep a minimum amount of old

Specify the hosts and paths to backup as parameters to RBME. Two formats are
Backup the entire host, crossing over mountpoints. Some typical mountpoints
are excluded by default, but make sure that you don't backup data
unintentionally (like NFS mounts etc.).
'host:/ /var /boot /home'
Backup the specified paths on the remote host (you cannot specify a path
with a blank in it here, this is an rsync issue, not RBME). In this mode RBME
will not descend into mount points, hence you have to specify all mount points
or paths to backup here. This method also safeguards against accidentially
backing up temporary NFS mounts etc. and is the recommended way to use RBME.

Excludes are managed locally on each backup host, to keep the information local
to the host (and allow a local admin to manage his/her own excludes). Simply
create a file /etc/backup-excludes.lst on each host to exclude files and
directories. Please refer to the rsync manpage (section INCLUDE/EXCLUDE PATTERN
RULES) for full details on the format. A small example will suffice here:



This example excludes various other backup directories on a server from this
backup. The /* notation makes sure that the directory itself is backed up, but
not the content.

To verify the configuration simply run RBME without a parameter:


RSYNC BACKUP MADE EASY version 1.4 / 2008-05-20
Copyright (C) 2006,2007 Schlomo Schapiro, probusiness Berlin AG
Licensed under the GNU General Public License, see for full text


/usr/bin/rbme host:/path ...
host:/path is in rsync notation, see rsync(1) for more information
Use host without :/path to specify entire host (with certain defaults

Include / Exclude files:
On each backup host, /etc/backup-excludes.lst can be used to specify
local excludes (in rsync notation !) and /etc/backup-includes.lst can
be used to specify local includes (though usually one uses only excludes,
as the includes do NOT include files not part of the :/path spec !).

Instance support:
Create symlinks to the executable to create more instances with dedicated
configuration. Each instance will have a dedicated logfile and produce
different email reports.

Current configuration:
(change settings in /etc/rbme.conf (Master) and /etc/rbme.conf (Instance))
BACKUP_PATH = /media/backup
RSYNC = /usr/bin/rsync
RSYNC_RSH = ssh -c blowfish-cbc
REPORT = yes
MAILSTYLE = report
LOGFILE = /var/log/rbme.log.20

Project homepage:


RBME is distributed as tar.gz archive or as noarch RPM, which is the
recommended installation method for RPM-based systems. After installing RBME
you have to edit /etc/rbme.conf to adapt RBME to your environment (at least set
the backup path).

Start from doing some test runs with a few hosts to get the feeling for RBME
and then you can create a cron job that will run RBME regularly and mail the
report back to you.


You can contact me at to send me your feedback, thanks and patches

Schlomo Schapiro

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