Backup questions...

Henk.Roose at Henk.Roose at
Fri May 12 09:36:56 EDT 2006


Nathanael D. Noblet wrote:

> I know this has been asked a few times. I've gone over the questions,
> but am wanting to make sure I fully understand some parts, to make sure
> what I am doing is actually useful.
> I have a Cyrus installation (RHEL 4 rpm). It works, all setup etc. It
> automatically creates a gz textfile of the mailboxlist files every day
> etc.
> I would now like to create an offsite backup of the two directories I've
> read need backing up. I've used rsync many a time for stuff like this so
> figure I'll use it again. I don't want downtime to do the backup, so
> need to know what kinds of problems can happen by running an rsync of
> the spool directory.

I'm rsyncing to another machine every day. The store is about 75 gigs
and it takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours on my hardware. Never had problems
with it and already had to recover from a system crash a couple of times.

> Obviously if the rsync takes anything but moments, there is a good
> chance that it won't catch some of the mail. I'm okay with that. The
> rsync will run each night, and if it isn't all there that's okay.
> Missing a handful of emails is not a problem in our books. So if I have
> the /var/lib/imap directory, which contains the berkeley dbs, and the
> text version of the mailbox list. Plus a near recent copy of the spool
> directories. I would be able to pretty much restore a copy roughly 24
> hours old in the case of a major failure. 

With crash recovery this is the best you can do and the fastest
option you have.  Be shure you sync everything including the sieve and
config/user data.

> Are these assumptions correct? Or not stopping the cyrus server will
> make my spool directory grow a litter of kittens and make it impossible
> to restore a functioning server albeit potentially missing a few
> emails...

Correct IMO. I moved the tls_sessions and the duplicate delivery databases
out of the way before starting cyrus after succesful recovery.


Henk Roose
CWI - Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica
Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science
Amsterdam (NL)

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