Self admin backups

Users self-administering their computer do not get the benefit of automated (from your viewpoint) backups of files. To assist users with their backups, CSG provides a "space" on a special backups server called selfstore.


Accepted Protocols
SSH and associated file transfer methods such as SCP and SFTP and Rsync-over-SSH. Connections using FTP-over-SSL (FTPS) will not work.
  • This server is only to be used for backup purposes. Under no circumstances should you be running processes on this server that aren't directly related to transferring files from your computer.
  • Users have a generous quota on the filesystem, but are still encouraged to backup just appropriate files.
  • Selfstore is a place to dump your backups, and is not backed up frequently itself. If you are changing files on selfstore and delete one then the file is probably lost.

Who can access the Selfstore?

All staff and postgraduate research students (who are expected to be running their own computer) should already have access to selfstore. If you do not have access and require it, you will need to ask System Support (through your supervisor if applicable) for access to selfstore. They will enable your access and create a directory.

How to backup files to Selfstore

This space can be accessed using SSH-capable tools. On Windows computers you can ZIP up files and copy them to Selfstore using WinSCP. We recommend using rsync or unison - particularly because they can be used to transfer only changed files. To sync the current directory: rsync -avzH -e ssh username@selfstore:/backups/username Windows users should install Cygwin to use Rsync and SSH on their computer. You should use the -H option to rsync (in addition to -av or whichever options you normally use) to preserve hard links. Otherwise, frequent users of hard links will use considerably more space than the original data, including the loss of the information link.

Checking quota

You can check your quota on selfstore by running this command when you are logged into selfstore: $ rquota -f /backups

Archives of Selfstore

Incremental Archives

Incremental backups are not performed on selfstore. If you require incremental backups, you should manage them yourself. One way of doing this is to use the --backup-dir option of rsync.

Full Archives

Once a session, all user directories on selfstore are completely backed up onto tape. Note that this compares with the monthly backups taken of user directories on other file servers maintained by the CSG. Users may restore from these tapes (using tkrestore - see the documentation on backups), but note that any restored files will be restored into the user's CSE home directory (assuming it exists), and not into the user's directory on selfstore, nor (fairly obviously) into the filesystem on the user's self admin machine.


If you have any questions about this service, please contact System Support.
Last edited by Robert Doran 01/01/2014

Tags for this page:

backup, feldman, selfadmin