Conserve: a robust backup program
Conserve's guiding principles:
Robust: If one file is corrupted in storage or due to a bug in Conserve, or if the backup is interrupted, you can still restore what was written. (Conserve doesn't need a large transaction to complete for data to be accessible.)
Careful: Backup data files are never touched or altered after they're written, unless you choose to purge them.
When you need help now: Restoring a subset of a large backup is fast.
Always making progress: Even if the backup process or its network connection is repeatedly killed, Conserve can quickly pick up where it left off and make forward progress.
Ready for today: The storage format is fast and reliable on on high-latency, limited-capability, unlimited-capacity, eventually-consistent cloud object storage. Conserve is tested on Windows, Linux (x86 and ARM), and OS X.
Quick start guide
Conserve storage is within an archive directory created by
conserve init /backup/home.cons
conserve backup copies a source directory into a new version within the archive.
Conserve copies files, directories, and (on Unix) symlinks.
conserve backup command completes successfully (copying the whole
source tree), the backup is considered complete.
conserve backup /backup/home.cons ~
conserve versions lists the versions in an archive,
whether or not the backup is complete,
the time at which the backup started,
and the time taken to complete it.
Each version is identified by a name starting with
$ conserve versions /backup/home.cons b0000 complete 2016-11-19T07:30:09+11:00 71s b0001 incomplete 2016-11-20T06:26:46+11:00 b0002 incomplete 2016-11-20T06:30:45+11:00 b0003 complete 2016-11-20T06:42:13+11:00 286s b0004 complete 2016-12-01T07:08:48+11:00 84s b0005 complete 2016-12-18T02:43:59+11:00 4s
conserve ls shows all the files in a particular version. Like all commands
that read a band from an archive, it operates on the most recent by default, and
you can specify a different version using
-b. (You can also omit leading zeros
from the backup version.)
$ conserve ls -b b0 /backup/home.cons | less
conserve restore copies a version back out of an archive.
$ conserve restore /backup/home.cons /tmp/trial-restore
To build Conserve you need Rust and a C compiler that can be used by Rust. Then run
Binaries for some platforms are available from https://github.com/sourcefrog/conserve/releases.
Conserve is still in a pre-1.0 alpha. It can be used to make and restore backups, but there are some important performance and functional limitations, which will be fixed before 1.0.
- There are no incremental backups: all backups store all files.
- There is no way to exclude files/subdirectories from backup or restore.
- The planned
validatecommand is not implemented, however a trial restore from the archive will test everything can be read.
- The planned feature of resuming an interrupted backup is not implemented: Conserve will just create a new full backup from the beginning.
conserve diffis also not implemented, but can be simulated by restoring to a temporary directory and comparing that to the source.
conserve purgecommand to trim the backup archive is not implemented, but the
b0123band directories can be deleted directly.
- Permissions and ownership are not stored.
Prior to 1.0, data formats may change on each minor version number change (0.x): you should restore using the same version that you used to make the backup.
Windows Defender and Windows Search Indexing can slow the system down severely when Conserve is making a backup. I recommend you exclude the backup directory from both systems.
Licence and non-warranty
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.