Conserve's guiding principles:
Conserve storage is within an archive directory created by
conserve init /backup/home.cons
conserve backup copies a source directory into a new version within the archive. Conserve copies files, directories, and (on Unix) symlinks. If the
conserve backup command completes successfully (copying the whole source tree), the backup is considered complete.
conserve backup /backup/home.cons ~
conserve versions lists the versions in an archive, whether or not the backup is complete, the time at which the backup started, and the time taken to complete it. Each version is identified by a name starting with
$ conserve versions /backup/home.cons b0000 complete 2016-11-19T07:30:09+11:00 71s b0001 incomplete 2016-11-20T06:26:46+11:00 b0002 incomplete 2016-11-20T06:30:45+11:00 b0003 complete 2016-11-20T06:42:13+11:00 286s b0004 complete 2016-12-01T07:08:48+11:00 84s b0005 complete 2016-12-18T02:43:59+11:00 4s
conserve ls shows all the files in a particular version. Like all commands that read a band from an archive, it operates on the most recent by default, and you can specify a different version using
-b. (You can also omit leading zeros from the backup version.)
$ conserve ls -b b0 /backup/home.cons | less
conserve restore copies a version back out of an archive:
$ conserve restore /backup/home.cons /tmp/trial-restore
conserve validate checks the integrity of an archive:
$ conserve validate /backup/home.cons
--exclude GLOB option can be given to commands that operate on files, including
/ at the start of the exclusion pattern anchors it to the top of the backup tree (not the root of the filesystem.)
** recursively matches any number of directories.
At the moment exclusion patterns must always start from the root, so you need
**/*.swp to exclude
.swp files anywhere in the tree.
The syntax is comes from the Rust globset crate.
To build Conserve you need Rust and a C compiler that can be used by Rust.
To install the most recent release from crates.io, run
cargo install conserve
To install from a git checkout, run
cargo install -f --path .
On nightly Rust only, you can enable a potential speed-up to the blake2 hashes with
cargo +nightly install -f --path . --features blake2_simd_asm
yay -S conserve
Conserve can reasonably be used for backups today: the format is stable, in my use it's reliable, and the basic features are complete.
Be aware that Conserve is developed as a part-time non-commercial project and there's no guarantee of support.
Some other limitations:
Prior to 1.0, data formats may change on each minor version number change (0.x): you should restore using the same version that you used to make the backup.
Windows Defender and Windows Search Indexing can slow the system down severely when Conserve is making a backup. I recommend you exclude the backup directory from both systems.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.