8.4.2.2. cpio

The cpio utility is another traditional UNIX program. It is an excellent general-purpose program for moving data from one place to another and, as such, can serve well as a backup program.
The behavior of cpio is a bit different from tar. Unlike tar, cpio reads the names of the files it is to process via standard input. A common method of generating a list of files for cpio is to use programs such as find whose output is then piped to cpio:
 find /home/ | cpio -o > /mnt/backup/home-backup.cpio 
This command creates a cpio archive file (containing the everything in /home/) called home-backup.cpio and residing in the /mnt/backup/ directory.

Note

Because find has a rich set of file selection tests, sophisticated backups can easily be created. For example, the following command performs a backup of only those files that have not been accessed within the past year:
 find /home/ -atime +365 | cpio -o > /mnt/backup/home-backup.cpio 
There are many other options to cpio (and find); to learn more about them read the cpio(1) and find(1) man pages.