backupninja man page

BACKUPNINJA — A lightweight, extensible meta-backup system
"a silent flower blossom death strike to lost data."


backupninja [ -h ] [ -d ] [ -n ] [ -t ] [ -f filename ] [ --run filename ]


Backupninja allows you to coordinate system backups by dropping a few simple configuration files into /etc/backup.d/. Most programs you might use for making backups don't have their own configuration file format. Backupninja provides a centralized way to configure and coordinate many different backup utilities.


easy to read ini style configuration files.
you can drop in scripts to handle new types of backups.
backup actions can be scheduled.
you can choose when status report emails are mailed to you (always, on warning, on error, never).
console-based wizard (ninjahelper) makes it easy to create backup action configuration files.
passwords are never sent via the command line to helper programs.
in order to backup a db or sql database, you cannot simply copy database files. backupninja helps you safely export the data to a format which you can backup.

works with Linux-Vservers.

Backup types include:

secure, remote, incremental filesytem backup (via rdiff-backup). incremental data is compressed. permissions are retained even with an unpriviledged backup user.
basic system and hardware information.
encrypted remote backups (via duplicity).
safe backup of MySQL, PostgreSQL, OpenLDAP, and subversion databases.
burn CD/DVDs or create ISOs.


-h, --help
Show summary of options
-d, --debug
Run in debug mode, where all log messages are output to the current shell.
-f, --conffile CONF_FILE
Use CONF_FILE for the main configuration instead of /etc/backupninja.conf
-t, --test
Run in test mode, no actions are actually taken.
-n, --now
Perform actions now, instead of when they might be scheduled.
Runs the action configuration ACTION_FILE and exits.


General settings are configured in /etc/backupninja.conf. In this file you can set the log level and change the default directory locations. See backupninja.conf(5).

To preform the actual backup actions, backupninja processes each action configuration file in /etc/backup.d according to the file's suffix. See backup.d(5).

Example Usage

Backupninja can be used to implement whatever backup strategy you choose. It is intended, however, to be used like so:
First, databases are safely copied or exported to /var/backups. Often, you cannot make a file backup of a database while it is in use, hence the need to use special tools to make a safe copy or export into /var/backups.
Then, vital parts of the file system, including /var/backups, are nightly pushed to a remote, off-site, hard disk (using rdiff-backup). The local user is root, but the remote user is not privileged. Hopefully, the remote filesystem is encrypted.
In order for this to work (ie for diff-backup to run unattended), you must create ssh keys on the source server and copy the public key to the remote user's authorized keys file. For example:
root@srchost# ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096
root@srchost# ssh-copy-id -i /root/.ssh/id_dsa.pub backup@desthost

Now, you should be able to ssh from user 'root' on srchost to user 'backup' on desthost without specifying a password. When prompted for a password by ssh-keygen, just leave it blank by hitting return. The "wizard" ninjahelper(1) will walk you through these steps.


/usr/sbin/backupninja main script
/etc/backupninja.conf main configuration file; general options
/etc/cron.d/backupninja runs main script hourly
/etc/logrotate.d/backupninja rotates backupninja.log
/etc/backup.d directory for configuration files
/usr/share/backupninja directory for handler scripts
/usr/share/doc/backupninja/examples example action configuration files.

See Also

ninjahelper(1), backupninja.conf(5), backup.d(5),


BACKUPNINJA was written by the riseup.net collective.

Referenced By

backup.d(5), backupninja.conf(5), ninjahelper(1).

Explore man page connections for backupninja(1).

riseup backupninja package October 10, 2005