Restoring files from backup

Restoring deleted files

There is no 'undelete' command in Linux. If you need to get a file back that you've accidentally deleted or overwritten, you need to restore it from backups.

Using tkrestore

The easiest way to restore from backups at CSE is to use the command tkrestore on the lab machines or login servers.

tkrestore is a graphical application, so if you're running it over PuTTY/SSH, you'll need to set up an X server on your computer.

To get started, select your username in the centre panel and click Read Indices. This can take a while if there are a lot of files in your account.

  • Files and directories that can be restored are shown in the left panel.
  • Files that are available from incremental backup sources are flagged with an i, while those coming from full backup sources are flagged with an f. (see next section for details)
  • Select the files in the left panel that you want to restore, and click Add to add them to the list of files to be restored, shown in the right-hand panel.
  • Click Restore to restore your files.
  • The files will be restored into /home/YourUserName/Restored_Backup/source-date, where YourUsername is your username, source is either i or f depending on the backup source, and date is the date on which the backup was taken.
  • For instance: /home/jbc/Restored_Backup/i-06.05.17/

Full vs Incremental backups

tkrestore can restore full backups and nightly/weekly incremental backups.

Full backups

  • Full backups happen monthly - every file in your entire home directory is backed up to tape.
  • Full backups can take anywhere from 15 minutes to one working day, depending on whether the relevant tape is currently loaded.
    • You will receive an email when your files from full backups have been restored.
  • You can restore an entire directory at a time from full backups

Incremental Backups

  • Incremental backups happen nightly: files changed or created since the last full backup are backed up to disk.
    • Space for incremental backups is limited, and some of your files may not be included in them.
  • Incremental backups can be restored immediately when you click Add.
  • You can't restore entire directories from incremental backups - you have to select the files you want individually.

If you need help

If you're having any problems with any of this, contact System Support - we're more than happy to give you a hand.

Last edited by jbc 26/06/2017

Tags for this page:

backup, delete, restore, tkrestore