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Take advantage of Unix Environment Variables when performing backups or restore points

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Posted on: 14 Nov 2007
Author: mandrei
Section: Server Operating Systems | Administration Guides
Views: 588
Comments: 3 (Add)

Take advantage of Unix Environment Variables when performing backups or restore points
Server backups or restore points require concludent file/folder names so you can recognize the date of this backup or restore point. What if there was an environment variable that would be exactly the date in d-m-y format ?

 



Server backups or restore points require concludent file/folder names so you can recognize the date of this backup or restore point. What if there was an environment variable that would be exactly the date in d-m-y format ?


An environment variable is a setting normally inherited or declared when a shell is started. You can use shells to set variables; the syntax varies but Bourne shells use:

$ VARNAME=new value
$ export VARNAME
or
$ export VARNAME=new value

Usefull Variable in backups and restore points

Everytime I make a server backup or a restore point for some files or directories for my domain web server files, I use the command substitution $(date "+%d-%m-%Y") in order to have file names like: www.ivorde.ro.11-11-2007.tar.bz2 when I create tar or dump backups by command typing: tar jcpvf /the/backup/dir/www.ivorde.ro.$(date "+%d%m%Y").tar.bz2 /the/dir/of/my/domain/files.

After issuing this command and I use ls -lt to display files in my backup directory, ordered by modified date I have:

[root@server ~]# ls -lt /the/backup/dir/
total 252096
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 31617360 Nov 14 16:29 www.ivorde.ro.14-11-2007.tar.bz2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 31621424 Nov 12 22:41 www.ivorde.ro.12-11-2007.tar.bz2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 31320820 Nov 8 11:15 www.ivorde.ro.08-11-2007.tar.bz2

Well, instead of typing each time $(date "+%d%m%Y") I will set a variable for my profile ($DATE or $WHATEVER) to be the exact output of the command date "+%d-%m-%Y"

Edit the /etc/profile or ~/.profile or .shrc or .bashprofile (whichever suits your needs) and add the following:

DATE=$(date "+%d-%m-%Y")
export DATE

In my case I used /etc/profile file.

Now I reload it into the shell and echo the $DATE variable:

[root@server ~]# . /etc/profile
[root@server ~]# echo $DATE
14-11-2007
[root@server ~]#


Also, see How to change Environment Variable $MAIL on FreeBSD box
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3 comment(s) to Take advantage of Unix Environment Variables when performing backups or restore points:

1. Re: Take advantage of Unix Environment Variables when performing backups or restore points
re: sysadmin by Andrei at March 31st, 2009 - 10:09
infojunkie: you're right. You need to reconnect daily.

2. Re: Take advantage of Unix Environment Variables when performing backups or restore points
Sysadmin by infojunkie at February 22nd, 2009 - 05:21
Note: If you keep your shell longer than that day, the variable won't have changed on its own.

3. Re: Take advantage of Unix Environment Variables when performing backups or restore points
Usefull on aliases and crontab also by mandrei at November 21st, 2007 - 10:47
Also usefull on aliases like:
alias mkbkp="cp -r /usr/local/etc/apache/confs /export/backups/confs_$DATE"

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