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System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems
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Commands for Copying File Systems

When you need to back up and restore complete file systems, use the ufsdump and ufsrestore commands described in Chapter 28, UFS Backup and Restore Commands (Reference). When you want to copy or move individual files, portions of file systems, or complete file systems, you can use the procedures described in this chapter instead of the ufsdump and ufsrestore commands.

The following table describes when to use the various backup commands.

Table 29-1 When to Use Various Backup Commands

Task

Command

For More Information

Back up file systems to tape.

ufsdump

How to Back Up a File System to Tape

Create a file system snapshot.

fssnap

Chapter 26, Using UFS Snapshots (Tasks)

Restore file systems from tape.

ufsrestore

How to Restore a Complete File System

Transport files to other systems.

pax, tar, or cpio

Copying Files and File Systems to Tape

Copy files or file systems between disks.

dd

How to Copy a Disk (dd)

Copy files to diskette.

tar

How to Copy Files to a Single Formatted Diskette (tar)

The following table describes various backup and restore commands.

Table 29-2 Summary of Various Backup Commands

Command Name

Aware of File System Boundaries?

Supports Multiple Volume Backups?

Physical or Logical Copy?

volcopy

Yes

Yes

Physical

tar

No

No

Logical

cpio

No

Yes

Logical

pax

Yes

Yes

Logical

dd

Yes

No

Physical

ufsdump/ufsrestore

Yes

Yes

Logical

fssnap

N/A

N/A

Logical

The following table describes the advantages and disadvantages of some of these commands.

Table 29-3 Advantages and Disadvantages of tar, pax, and cpio Commands

Command

Function

Advantages

Disadvantages

tar

Use to copy files and directory subtrees to a single tape.

  • Available on most UNIX operating systems

  • Public domain versions are readily available

  • Is not aware of file system boundaries

  • Length of full path name cannot exceed 255 characters

  • Cannot be used to create multiple tape volumes

pax

Use to copy files, special files, or file systems that require multiple tape volumes. Or, use when you want to copy files to and from POSIX-compliant systems.

  • Better portability than the tar or cpio commands for POSIX-compliant systems

  • Multiple vendor support

Same disadvantages as the tar command, except that the pax command can create multiple tape volumes.

cpio

Use to copy files, special files, or file systems that require multiple tape volumes. Or, use when you want to copy files from systems running current Solaris releases systems to systems running SunOS 4.0/4.1 releases.

  • Packs data onto tape more efficiently than the tar command

  • Skips over any bad spots in a tape when restoring

  • Provides options for writing files with different header formats, such as ( tar, ustar, crc, odc, bar), for portability between different system types

  • Creates multiple tape volumes

The command syntax is more difficult than the tar or pax commands.

The following sections describes step-by-step instructions and examples of how to use these commands.

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  Published under the terms fo the Public Documentation License Version 1.01. Design by Interspire