Another Calendar-based Tarsnap Script
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ACTS 1.3b1

Another Calendar-based Tarsnap Script.


acts is a minimal shell script that creates backups with Tarsnap. Our design goals:

  • Just backup, no restore.
  • Calendar-based backup schedule
  • Portable, small, code footprint.

One Tarsnap archive is created per-target per-run. 31 daily, 12 monthly, and indefinite yearly backups are kept.


You can use the development version of acts by cloning this repository, or download the latest stable release.


  1. Take acts.conf.sample, customise it for your environment, and save it to /etc/acts.conf or /usr/local/etc/acts.conf.
  2. Run acts daily from cron.

Notes on behaviour:

  • acts creates archives of the form <hostname>-<period>-yyyy-mm-dd_HH:MM:SS-target.
  • Archives are created using the following logic:
    • If no yearly backup for the current year exists, create a yearly backup.
    • If no monthly backup for the current month exists, create a monthly backup.
    • Otherwise, create a daily backup.
  • Archives are deleted using the following logic:
    • If any backups failed, delete nothing.
    • Keep the most recent 31 daily backups, and delete any older ones.
    • Keep the most recent 12 monthly backups, and delete any older ones.
    • Do not delete any yearly backups.
  • Times in archive names use UTC, not the server's timezone.


  • Add per-directory excludes handling. (For now, add global excludes in your tarsnap.conf or .tarsnaprc file.)
  • Add some backup period configurability. (For now, you can edit the hardcoded values in the script.)


This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.


Email me ( or open a Github issue.