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ssbackup - a tool for making snapshot-style backups using rsync


ssbackup [ options ] source name


This manual page explains the ssbackup tool. This tool is an implementation of the snapshot-style-backup method that is described in

It makes a backup every time it is called, holding a specified number of backups, so you can go back to older versions. Instead of making a full copy every time, it hard-links files that have not changed since the last run, so normaly using only a fraction of the space. Every snapshot looks

like a full copy

To be honest the actual work is done by rsync(1), this tool only is a small script to call rsync.

source is a URL-like specifier for the source (the directory to back-up). It is either


for backing-up a localy directory-tree or


for backing up a nfs-mountable export of a remote server. ssbackup will mount this export, do the backup and umount it.

name is the name of the backups. The backups are called name.0, name.1, etc.


shows the version-number of ssbackup and exits
-h, --help
shows a short help explaining the options
-d BASEDIR, --basedir=BASEDIR
Directory that holds the backups. The default is the current directory. In this directory backups with name name.[0-9]* will be created that hold the versiones of the backup.
-e EXCLUDE, --exclude=EXCLUDE
file with rsync-exclude patterns. Please see rsync(1).
-n COUNT, --count=COUNT
The number of backup-snapshots that are held. Defaults to 14 if not given.
-o, --check-only
Do nothing, only say what would have been called.


ssbackup home nfs://milkyway:/export/1

makes a backup of /export/1 exported by nfs-server milkyway into the current directory. The backups are called home.0, home.1, home.2,... As count is not specified 14 versions ( home.0,.., home.14 ) are hold.

ssbackup --basedir=/backup --exclude=home.excl home nfs://milkyway:/export/1

the same as above, but the backups are put into /backup instead of the currend directory and home.excl is passed to rsync as an exclude file with --exclude-from=home.excl.


ssbackup can easily destroy valuable data if called with wrong parameters, especially if called as root. So think twice bevor calling it.


There are probably bugs in ssbackup. It has not been testet widely and is in a ‘works for me’-state. It is provided ‘as is’ and there is no warranty for this software.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 U SA


M G Berberich <>

See Also

nfs(5), python(1), rsync(1), ssbackup-batch(8)

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