Subject: Re: Questions regarding dump
To: Matthew Jacob <>
From: Grey Wolf <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/19/2000 13:24:50
On Wed, 19 Jul 2000, Matthew Jacob wrote:

# FWIW, on my list of things to do this fall are to implement NDMP (tape && data
# server) for *BSD (I may even have somebody who might pay me to do it).
# ...
# Dump/Restore should work reasonably well, I agree, but in my opinion it's
# ready for retirement- not renovation. I also have on my list to examine the
# current state of rmt to make sure it's happy.

Dump/Restore will not drop into retirement unless there's a free replacement
for it (I may have missed that part, I don't know -- I didn't see anything
suggesting it).  Here's why:

1.  As a sysadmin, from my own point of view, if I cannot restore a tape
    dumped from five years ago, I'm gonna be a bit put out.

2.  As a programmer (sort of), I think they're pretty effective.  I can't
    think of a quicker way to get the data than to parse the filesystem
    directly.  You also avoid updating the atimes that way, something which
    is necessary for true image recovery (though you screw the ctime on

If there's a later restoral which will work with the old dump(5) format,
I could move forward to a new restore.  If the new dump scheme can un-
obtrusively retrieve the data from the filesystem, I could move to a new

So far:

- Alexandria has been eaten by Veritas, which is a fscking NIGHTmare to
  work with.  It's proprietary, which means there's no way to restore from
  a tape if you lose the software.  It turns into a catch-026.

- Legato is proprietary.  See above.

- Amanda does not handle spanning multiple volumes.

This leaves us with dump/restore and various (possibly interactive) scripts.

Now, either there's a real trick to writing dump/restore software, or nobody
knows WTF they are doing.  Until either one of these is disproven, I'm going
to elect what works.

# -matt


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