The program tar file, which stands for T ape Ar Chiver is a storage system tape drives based on the old method of backups or backups which is still convincing its customers. Although it is rarely used by private users today, tar continues to be considered the preferred archiving tool on UNIX systems. Furthermore, this file archiver allows you to regularly create incremental backups of servers. Here we will not only clarify how to use the program, but we will also indicate the necessary commands to make backups with tar.
How Does Tar Work
The tar archiving program is used for archiving files and folders on Linux and other related systems and, strange as it may be, it does not offer compression in its standard form. Even so, the program is well known, since it allows you to combine entire folders into a single file. This technology is linked to the history of the program itself since in a tape drive storage system all the data is transferred consecutively to a magnetic tape, which explains the sequential and linear storage of the tar format, in which the new files are attached to the main file. The file resulting from the concatenation of files is also known as a tarball because they are joined to each other.
If you are trying to compress this type of file, you need to combine tar with gzip. Both programs complement each other perfectly since gzip can only compress single files. For this reason, tar is always used first followed by gzip or another compression program, so that once compressed, .tar.gz or .tzip files are generated.
Backups With Tar
Webmasters are inclined to use tar to create backups for two reasons. On the one hand, the folder structure remains unchanged, and, on the other hand, the scope of the program’s functions allows numerous additional fine-tuning adjustments, made evident if the numerous options that have been broken down in the previous section are taken into account. Next, we’ll explain how to use tar to create full backups and incremental backups.
Incremental Backup With Tar
It is common for webmasters to create backups periodically to avoid data loss. If the current system rejects your service, compromises it, or deletes it, you can use a functional version of the backup. The more regularly save points are set, the fewer data will be lost if something happens to the system. However, if you do a full backup every time, that is, you archive all the data on your system, it will not only take a long time but also a lot of memory space. Instead, it is possible to create incremental backups with tar.
Every incremental backup requires full storage. For this reason, first of all, you must archive the entire system or the part of it that you want to save, and then add only the new or modified tar files with the incremental backup. So, when the backup is rerun, the last full copy will be required along with every incremental backup added after it, leading to a much smaller volume of data, although it requires higher restoration costs. If one of the files is lost, much more unlikely today than in the days of magnetic tape, the backup will be incomplete.
Restore A System With A Backup
Although nobody is wanted, you may have to restore the system. Fortunately, this process is carried out with relative ease thanks to tar and no additional script is required for this. However, it takes more than just the simple commands used with full backups, as it is tied to the very nature of incremental backups that many files have to be extracted.