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I need to backup all my data from a server (in 10 minutes), preferably keeping the symlinks.

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    I suppose that since you used rsync tag you know about rsync. You could also make a image of the disk with dd. – Braiam Jan 31 '14 at 15:04
  • Have you tried rsync? Or cp? Why 10 minutes? – terdon Jan 31 '14 at 15:04
  • @terdon because the sysadmin will reboot and format the machine in 10 minutes – RSFalcon7 Jan 31 '14 at 15:07
  • you sure you need full backup instead of just the basic? – Braiam Jan 31 '14 at 15:08
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    related: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/553/… – slm Jan 31 '14 at 16:01
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Done in the server with:

rsync -avx --progress ~ user@backup-host:~/backup

More info here.

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    I also like to add --delete otherwise the backup just grows with things you don't need anymore. Make sure to use that option with care! – DavidG Jan 31 '14 at 15:17
  • I will dig into those (and other) options with more time, probably there are lots of option that could helped. – RSFalcon7 Jan 31 '14 at 15:27
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I personally use this script to get a systemwide backup from my server.

Notice the sudo in front of rsync to make sure groups, users and permissions are set properly.

Of cause downloading a complete server might take some time. You may want to change the folder by changing serv:/ with serv:/home/myuser/important/

#!/bin/bash
#setup
folder=$(date +%Y-%m-%d)
mkdir $folder
cd $folder

#download
sudo rsync -aPuzh --exclude='/proc' --exclude='/dev' --exclude='/tmp' --exclude='/sys'  --exclude='*/.cache' serv:/ ./

#compress
sudo tar -czf "$folder.tar.gz" *
sudo mv "$folder.tar.gz" ../
cd ..

#delete original
sudo rm -rf "$folder"

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