FSArchiver 0.6.11

Filesystem Archiver for Linux
FSArchiver is a software that allows you to save the contents of a filesystem to a compressed archive file. The file-system can be restored on a partition which has a different size and it can be restored on a different file-system. Unlike tar/dar, fsarchiver also creates the file-system when it extracts the data to partitions. Everything is checksummed in the archive in order to protect the data. If the archive is corrupt, you just loose the current file, not the whole archive. Fsarchiver is released under the GPL-v2 license.

The purpose of this project is to provide a safe and flexible file-system backup/deployment tool. Other open-source file-systems tools such as partimage already exist. These tools are working at the filesystem blocks level, so it's not possible to restore the backup to a smaller partition, and restoring to a bigger partition forces you to resize the filesystem by hand.

The purpose is to have a very flexible program. FSArchiver can extract an archive to a partition which is smaller that the original one as long as there is enough space to store the data. It can also restore the data on a different file-system, so it can use it when you want to convert your file-system: you can backup an ext3 file-system, and restore it as a reiserfs.

FSArchiver is working at the file level. It can make an archive of any unix file-system (ext3, reiserfs, xfs, ...) that the running kernel can mount with a read-write support. It will preserve all the standard unix file attributes (permissions, timestamps, symbolic-links, hard-links, extended-attributes, ...), as long as the kernel has support for it enabled.

There are several limitations anyway: it does not support non-unix file-systems (fat, ntfs) since these files attributes don't match the unix standards. FSArchiver won't preserve the attributes which are very specific to a file-system. For instance, if you create a snapshot in a btrfs volume (the new-generation file system for linux), FSArchiver won't know anything about that, and it will just backup the contents seen when you mount the partition.

FSArchiver is safe when it makes backups of partitions which are not mounted or mounted read-only. There is an option to force the backup of a read-write mounted volume, but there may be problems with the files that changed during the backup. If you want to backup partition which are in use, the best thing to do is to make an LVM snapshot of the partition using lvcreate -s, which is part of the LVM userland tools. Unfortunately you can only make snapshots of partitions which are LVM Logical Volumes.

Protection against data loss

FSArchiver is using two levels of checksums to protect your data against corruption. Each block of each file has a 32bit checksum written in the archive. That way we can identify which block of your file is damaged. Once a file has been restored, the md5 checksum of the whole file is compared to the original md5. It's a 128bit checksum, so it's will detect all file corruptions. In case one file is damaged, fsarchiver will restore all the other files from your archive, so you won't loose all your data. It's very different from tar.gz where the whole tar is compressed with gzip. In that case, the data which are written after the corruption are lost.

last updated on:
December 8th, 2010, 20:56 GMT
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
developed by:
Francois Dupoux
ROOT \ System \ Archiving
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What's New in This Release:
  • Updated supported btrfs compat flags to make it work with btrfs-2.6.35
  • The -c/--cryptpass option now supports interactive passwords: use "-c -"
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