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Chapter 24. Restoring an XFS file system from backup

As a system administrator, you can use the xfsrestore utility to restore XFS backup created with the xfsdump utility and stored in a file or on a tape.

24.1. Features of restoring XFS from backup

This section describes key concepts and features of restoring an XFS file system from backup with the xfsrestore utility.

The xfsrestore utility restores file systems from backups produced by xfsdump. The xfsrestore utility has two modes:

  • The simple mode enables users to restore an entire file system from a level 0 dump. This is the default mode.
  • The cumulative mode enables file system restoration from an incremental backup: that is, level 1 to level 9.

A unique session ID or session label identifies each backup. Restoring a backup from a tape containing multiple backups requires its corresponding session ID or label.

To extract, add, or delete specific files from a backup, enter the xfsrestore interactive mode. The interactive mode provides a set of commands to manipulate the backup files.

Additional resources

  • xfsrestore(8) man page.

24.2. Restoring an XFS file system from backup with xfsrestore

This procedure describes how to restore the content of an XFS file system from a file or tape backup.



  • The command to restore the backup varies depending on whether you are restoring from a full backup or an incremental one, or are restoring multiple backups from a single tape device:

    # xfsrestore [-r] [-S session-id] [-L session-label] [-i]
                 -f backup-location restoration-path
    • Replace backup-location with the location of the backup. This can be a regular file, a tape drive, or a remote tape device. For example, /backup-files/Data.xfsdump for a file or /dev/st0 for a tape drive.
    • Replace restoration-path with the path to the directory where you want to restore the file system. For example, /mnt/data/.
    • To restore a file system from an incremental (level 1 to level 9) backup, add the -r option.
    • To restore a backup from a tape device that contains multiple backups, specify the backup using the -S or -L options.

      The -S option lets you choose a backup by its session ID, while the -L option lets you choose by the session label. To obtain the session ID and session labels, use the xfsrestore -I command.

      Replace session-id with the session ID of the backup. For example, b74a3586-e52e-4a4a-8775-c3334fa8ea2c. Replace session-label with the session label of the backup. For example, my_backup_session_label.

    • To use xfsrestore interactively, use the -i option.

      The interactive dialog begins after xfsrestore finishes reading the specified device. Available commands in the interactive xfsrestore shell include cd, ls, add, delete, and extract; for a complete list of commands, use the help command.

Example 24.1. Restoring Multiple XFS File Systems

  • To restore the XFS backup files and save their content into directories under /mnt/:

    # xfsrestore -f /backup-files/boot.xfsdump /mnt/boot/
    # xfsrestore -f /backup-files/data.xfsdump /mnt/data/
  • To restore from a tape device containing multiple backups, specify each backup by its session label or session ID:

    # xfsrestore -L "backup_boot" -f /dev/st0 /mnt/boot/
    # xfsrestore -S "45e9af35-efd2-4244-87bc-4762e476cbab" \
                 -f /dev/st0 /mnt/data/

Additional resources

  • xfsrestore(8) man page.

24.3. Informational messages when restoring an XFS backup from a tape

When restoring a backup from a tape with backups from multiple file systems, the xfsrestore utility might issue messages. The messages inform you whether a match of the requested backup has been found when xfsrestore examines each backup on the tape in sequential order. For example:

xfsrestore: preparing drive
xfsrestore: examining media file 0
xfsrestore: inventory session uuid (8590224e-3c93-469c-a311-fc8f23029b2a) does not match the media header's session uuid (7eda9f86-f1e9-4dfd-b1d4-c50467912408)
xfsrestore: examining media file 1
xfsrestore: inventory session uuid (8590224e-3c93-469c-a311-fc8f23029b2a) does not match the media header's session uuid (7eda9f86-f1e9-4dfd-b1d4-c50467912408)

The informational messages keep appearing until the matching backup is found.

24.4. Additional resources

  • xfsrestore(8) man page.