[Box Backup] Following Symbolic Links

Peter Porter boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Thu, 15 Jun 2006 11:51:57 -0600

Gentoo links several important config files under /etc to a place in the 
portage tree, under /usr/portage/.  Certainly a bad assumption of me not 
to check the entire directory structure to be sure, but in looking for a 
solution the cleanest option (in my opinion) would be to have a follow 
symlinks option.

Specifically naming each symlinked directory will make for a messy 
config and backup store.  Furthermore, it's certainly forseeable that a 
program may add a symlinked folder/item at a later date and, chances 
are, I will be unaware.  In this case I would like to say "back up this 
entire logical structure" to be *absolutely sure* I'm not stupidly 
missing anything.

I can certainly see the general design benefit of backing files up as 
they exist on the unix filesystem, but given this situation I see why 
the option was added to tar, and I don't see a clean method to guarantee 
that everything that logically falls under the /etc folder is backed up.


Ben Summers wrote:
> On 15 Jun 2006, at 15:12, Peter Porter wrote:
>> Is there an option to have Box follow symbolic links, preferably on a 
>> per-location basis?  I just realized that a file under /etc is a 
>> symbolic link, I need the old version, and I don't have it.
> Box Backup backs up directory structures. As such, if it just followed 
> symlinks then when you restored you would not get the original back 
> again, which is kind of the point of a backup utility. And it's the 
> UNIX way, for example, tar requires an explicit option to follow 
> symlinks.
> It's also an unnecessary feature, especially as adding options doubles 
> the amount of testing necessary. Simply add another Location for /etc, 
> and you're done.
> Finally, after configuring a backup system, it's always wise to ensure 
> it's actually doing what you think it is.
> Ben