Centralized remote backup script with SSH key authentication


It has been a while since we posted any useful tidbits for you , so we have decided to share one of our quick & dirty centralized backup scripts.

The script relies on ssh key based authentication, described here on this blog. It essentially parses a configuration file where each variable is separated by a comma and colon, as in the example config here :


Note the intended backup directories in the 3rd variable, separated by colon’s. Simply populate the backup-hosts.txt config file (located in the same folder as the script) with all the hosts you want to be backed up.

The script then ssh’s to the intended host, and sends a tar -czf stream (securely) over ssh, to be output into the destination of your choice. Ideally you should centralize this script on a box that has direct access to alot of disk space.

Find the script here :

# Centralized Linux Backup Script
# By Star Dot Hosting , www.stardothosting.com
# Uses SSH Key based authentication and remote ssh commands to tar.gz folders to iSCSI storage

todaysdate=`date "+%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"`

echo "Centralized Linux Backup: " $todaysdate > /var/log/linux-backup.log
echo -e "----------------------------------------------" >> /var/log/linux-backup.log
echo -e >> /var/log/linux-backup.log

for obj0 in $(cat /usr/local/bin/backup-hosts.txt | grep -v "#" | awk -F "," '{printf "%sn", $2}');
        backupname=`cat /usr/local/bin/backup-hosts.txt | grep -v "#" | grep $obj0 | awk -F "," '{printf "%sn", $1}'`

        for obj1 in $(cat /usr/local/bin/backup-hosts.txt | grep -v "#" | grep $obj0 | awk -F "," '{printf "%sn", $3'} | awk '{gsub(":","n");printf"%s", $
                echo -e "backing up $obj0 with $obj1 directory" >> /var/log/linux-backup.log
                ssh -l root $obj0 "(cd /$obj1/ && tar -czf - . -C /$obj1)" >> $backupdest/$backupname.$obj1.tar.gz 2>&1
                if [ "$?" -eq 1 ]
                        echo -e "There were some errors while backing up $obj0 / $backupname within the $obj1 directory" >> /var/log/linux-backup.log
                        #exit 1
                        echo -e "Backup completed on $obj0 / $backupname while backing up $obj1 directory" >> /var/log/linux-backup.log

echo "Backup Script Completed." >> /var/log/linux-backup.log
cat /var/log/linux-backup.log | mail -s "Centralized Backup Complete" topsoperations@topscms.com

You could modify this script to keep different daily backups , pruned to keep only X number of days of backups (i.e. only 7 days worth). There is alot you can do here.

If you have a handful of linux or bsd servers that you would like to backup in a centralized location, without having an individual script to maintain on each server, then perhaps you could use or modify this script to suit your needs.

I hope this helps.