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Performing System Backups and Restorations

Solaris provides the utilities listed in Table 23. They can be used to back up data from disk to removable media and restore it.

Table 23. Backup Utilities




Archives data to another directory, system, or medium.


Copies data quickly.


Copies data from one location to another.


Copies files and directory subtrees to a single tape. This command provides better portability than tar or cpio, so it can be used to transport files to other types of Unix systems.


Backs up all files in a file system.


Restores some or all of the files archived with the ufsdump command.


This utility creates compressed archives that are portable across various platforms, including Unix, VMS, and Windows.

Web Start flash

Combines the use of JumpStart and backup utilities to provide an easy mechanism for restoring a system to its initial state or cloning systems.


Uses Java to provide capabilities similar to those of tar, cpio, and zip.

You can use the fssnap command to create a read-only snapshot of a file system while the file system is mounted. A snapshot is a point-in-time image of a file system that provides a stable and unchanging device interface for backups. Unlike ufsdump, a UFS snapshot enables you to keep the file system mounted and the system in multiuser mode during backups. The snapshot is stored to disk, and then you can use Solaris backup commands like ufsdump, tar, and cpio to back up the UFS snapshot.

Create the snapshot using the fssnap command as follows:

fssnap -F ufs -o bs=/var/tmp /export/home

Another way to back up your Solaris operating environment (not the data) is to create a Web Start archive. The Web Start flash archive feature can be used to back up your Solaris operating environment or to replicate an installation on a number of systems, called clone systems. While in single-user mode, you can use the flarcreate command to create the Web Start archive.

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