Data backup with rsync (olbackup procedure)

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Range of service

The service backs up Linux computers on a file basis. The backup of Linux special applications such as postgres databases is supported via pre- and postprecessing scripts. The backup of Windows servers is not supported.

Your benefits

  • Data backup is faster because only incremental backups are performed after the first full data backup.
  • Data backup is more resource efficient. Less storage media and less network bandwidth are required. An rsync data backup can therefore also be done over a slow network (ISDN or DSL).
  • There are no restore times. In case of a disk crash all data is immediately available read-only.
  • Every user of a computer backed up with rsync can access his backed up files himself. A restore request in the computing centre is therefore no longer necessary.
  • The transfer of data to the data backup server of the computing centre is encrypted. This means that a hacker cannot recognize the type of data transferred.





The service is available 24 hours a day in normal operation.

Service hours

on working days from 8-16


If you have any questions or problems, please contact the hotline,  or by telephone (Mon-Fri 9-16) at 880-5555. The direct contact for the service is Alfred Börnig (, 880-3143)


Here you can find information about registration.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Procedure of an rsync data backup

The rsync data backup consists of two steps. In the first step, a copy (mirror) of the original data stock is created on a specific storage area on a magnetic disk in the computing centre.

In the second step, a daily updated copy of the mirrored files is created by generating hard links. These daily updated copies are finally deleted after 8 weeks. Copying the files by means of hardlinks does not require additional space on the magnetic disk. Additional storage space is only required if a file has changed.

In contrast to classical data backup, the backed up data is not stored on magnetic tape cassettes. The data therefore remain on the hard disk. Therefore it is possible to access the backups immediately via samba share (connect network drive) or nfs mount.


Requirements for an rsync data backup

The computer to be backed up must be connected to the network. The computer must have an ssh daemon running which is used to establish the backup connection. Finally, the rsync program that performs the backup must be present.

These requirements are usually fulfilled on computers with unix operating system, so that no further installation work is necessary.

On Windows machines, the ssh daemon usually does not run and the rsync program is not available. The computing centre therefore provides a program package with these programs for download at

After the software requirements have been met, the automatic access from our data backup server to the computer to be backed up must be configured. This is done in consultation with the supervisor of the olbackup procedure in the computing centre. The administrator of the olbackup procedure then configures the data backup server (among other things with the information which directories are to be backed up).

All the conditions would thus be met. From this day on, the computer is backed up regularly once a day using the olbackup procedure.


Restoring files

As already mentioned above, each user can access the backed up files himself. The disk areas on which the backups are located are exported read-only to the backed up computer via nfs- or samba. There they can be made available again under the directory /mybackup, for example.


Example for nfs-mount command on Unix systems


   Entry in /etc/fstab:<computer name> /mybackup nfs ro,hard,intr,timeo=5 0 0

   Then call the mount command:

   mount /mybackup       # or specify completely
   mount<computer name> /mybackup


Example for samba-mount on Unix systems:

   Entry in /etc/fstab (in one line):

   //<computer name> /mybackup smbfs username=<id number of the computing centre>,sync 0 0

   Then call the mount command:

   mount /mybackup


Example for samba-mount on Windows systems:

   Call Windows Explorer: Menu->Extras->Connect network drive. Please enter the following:

   Folder:    \\\bkup.<computer name>
   User: <id number of the computing centre>
   Password: as you know.


   Alternatively you can enter the following command in a "DOS" window:

   net use * \\\bkup.<rechnername> /user:<id number of the computing centre>




This list of responsible service supervisor is generated automatically.