Can anyone refer me to a simple backup script or program, that will backup in the following way:

  • Incremental
  • Rotation of X backups
  • Backup to a mounted drive (no need for remote connections)
  • Multiple source folders
  • Hard links from the last backup to non-changed files, to save space
  • Full files backup, and not only diff files
  • Optional: exclusion list of files / folders to not backup
  • Optional: send an Email with the backup details at the end of the process

Most of the scripts that I found are dealing with full images backups, or diff backups, whereas I wish to backup only selected folders, and have the full files in case a restore is needed.

If additional data is needed, I'll be glad to add it.

2 Answers 2


I use DAR for similar requirements. For rotation I use a set of cron jobs.

Following requirements are satisfied by dar:

  • set of options for exclusion of files/directories (e.g. -P www/testdir)
  • full file backups (for a lot of use cases this is faster)
  • backup to a mounted drive (normal mode of operation)
  • multiple source folders
  • incremental backup

Following requirements are satisfied by the cron jobs:

  • rotation

The email notification could be easily added via modifying the cron job (such that it does not suppress output in case of success).

Since DAR uses an archive file format it does not use hard links internally. But nevertheless it implements incremental backup such that in a new incremental archive only the changed files are stored.

  • Thank you maxschlepzig. Still, it seems that DAR can only create a single archived file. This is, IMHO, a problematic implementation, since if the file is damaged, so does the entire content. Single point of failure. In addition, you cannot browse the backup, and this is an important capability for me.
    – bizna
    Jun 12, 2013 at 8:02
  • 1
    @bizna, yes, DAR creates archive files because it has some advantages: easy to checksum, reliable backup/restore of permissions, ownership and other attributes, better storage efficiency, ... About the single point of failure (SPoF): Doing a backup to single files also has a SPoF: the freaking harddisk - but this is why we do backups - we then can multiply failure probabilities of each device which contains (a restorable) copy. In case a DAR archive is corrupted not all is lost - it supports some strategies of skipping errors. Apparently, you can even browse them via a virtual filesystem. Jun 12, 2013 at 8:36

For years I have been using the following backup script, with some minor adjustments: http://archive09.linux.com/feature/121604

Though it ticks all the boxes in the requirements (incremental, rotation, hard links, multiple sources), I can't help but feeling that there is something better out there, but I just can't find it.

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