5 Nov 2006 sivang   » (Apprentice)

Through my work on hubackup, I'm occasionally exploring other backup related programs, solutions and code. This is to make sure that while climbing a mountain to mount its top, I have not forsaken any good rocks I could use to support myself instead of paving the way all alone. Today I explored a set of perl and shell scripts collectively referred to as Backup Manager.

Lately packaged for Debian, I had wanted to peek at it to see if it can be a better candidate then DAR - as an archiver backend. HUBackup currently using subprocess control through pttys (using python-pexpect module) mandates that the candidate back-end archiver interactively interacts with the user for slice changes, and has enough verbosity to allow proper progress indication by the front end. Backup Manager seems to be able to provide these.

When I tried my go at it to see how DVD-RW backups would be handled, I realized that it mostly ignored me trying to set up any of the parameters listed in /etc/backup-manager.conf by just 'export FOO="bar"' and I actually was required to edit the conffile everytime I changed a backup parameter. even then there was some bug that prevented me from actually using this to start a backup. It kept complaining

/usr/share/backup-manager/logger.sh: line 44: -t: command not found
. Still a nice go again in a rather not-too-much-explored area, and I'll make sure to check it periodically as development continues, as this is among the very few brave hearts that attempt to integrate burning optical media backups, with the archiving scripts. I believe this integration is crucial to enable simple users (that usually do not have access to remote file servers) to create backups in a breeze. The fact it was written using perl and bash was of less appeal to me, as again forcing me to use process spawning rather then being able to import a module into my programs name space. One of my goals is to make hubackup more robust by getting rid of the back-end spawning "approach". I would like to be able to use DAR's features from within python instead of having to deal with hairy process and ptty's fd(s). I should explore again if DAR has grown python bindings or embark on writing some myself.

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