Backing up from Unraid to off-site Linux server
rsync stands for "remote sync" and is similar to
robocopy on Windows. It can be configured to use SSH for secure file copies across public networks. There is a slight hiccup with this, due to the way Unraid handles SSH keys. I followed this blog post to create a persistent key vault and generate public / private key pair.
rsync backup command looks like this:
rsync -a -h --progress --rsh="ssh -l remoteuser -i /mnt/user/ssh_vault/backup.example.com" /mnt/user/backup firstname.lastname@example.org:~
The command line options break down as follows:
-h- Human readable
--progress- Show progress indicator
--rsh="ssh -l remoteuser -i /mnt/user/ssh_vault/backup.example.com"- Use SSH for the remote connection. The section in quotes is the SSH command line that will be used.
-l remoteuserspecifies the remote username (
remoteuserin this case), and
-i /mnt/user/ssh_vault/backup.example.comspecifies that we'll use the private key from the vault created previously in order to authenticate
/mnt/user/backup- source directory to copy
email@example.com:~- destination directory (the
~signifies the user's home directory)
In order to ensure that only one backup operation can be started at once, I wrapped this with
flock (file lock utility):
flock -n lock_file -c "rsync -a -h --progress --rsh=\"ssh -l remoteuser -i /mnt/user/ssh_vault/backup.example.com\" /mnt/user/backup firstname.lastname@example.org:~"
flock options used here are:
-n- non-blocking, causes an immediate exit if the lock is already held
lock_file- creates a file in the current directory called
lock_file. The lock will be held on this file (which will be created if it does not already exist)
-c- everything following this is the original
rsynccommand. Note the quotes around the
--rshoption now need to be escaped with backslashes.
Some additional resources:
- How to Copy Files With rsync Over SSH
- How to Use rsync to Sync Local and Remote Directories on a VPS
Persisting SSH configuration
rsync for the first time, a prompt appears which has to be accepted by the user.
The authenticity of host 'backup.example.com (126.96.36.199)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])?
Ordinarily, this wouldn't be much of a problem, but because Unraid does not persist the SSH
known_hosts file across reboots, we need to get a bit creative.
yesto create the
- Copy the SSH config to the Unraid config folder
cp -r /root/.ssh /boot/config/sshroot
- Add the following to
# Restore SSH configuration and set permissions cp -r /boot/config/sshroot /root/.ssh chmod g-rwx,o-rwx -R /root/.ssh
Scheduling the backup
/boot/config/plugins/dynamix/remote_backup.cron in your preferred text editor, e.g.
Add the following content and save:
# rsync backup at 2am daily (if not already running)
00 2 * * * flock -n lock_file -c "rsync -a -h --progress --rsh=\"ssh -l remoteuser -i /mnt/user/ssh_vault/backup.example.com\" /mnt/user/backup email@example.com:~"
Note the trailing linefeed at the end of the file!
Unraid adds the content of
.cron files inside
/boot/config/plugins/dynamix/ to the crontab dynamically on system boot (or after running
update_cron, which you will probably want to do now). You can check that your job has been added to the crontab using
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