Dienstag, 22. Oktober 2013

How to mount your backups with Obnam using FUSE

With the latest version 1.5 Obnam introduced a pretty cool new feature: You now can mount your backup as if it would be a "virtual hard drive". That is, you don't need to extract / restore your backup using Obnam's command line anymore if you only are interested in certain files or directories to restore.

Since this feature is pretty new I had to bring myself up-to-date on how to exactly use the mount option. Since this is FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) you don't need to be root to mount the actual backup. Still, it took my a while until I figured out the right parameters to make it all work.


This is how to make it happen (tested on Ubuntu / Mint / Debian):

First, you have to create a new directory in your home directory where to actually let Obnam mount the backup into. I chose
/home/<your-user-name>/tmp/obnam
for that.
Second, your user needs to be part of the group "fuse". This already should be the case, and if not: 
 sudo usermod -a -G fuse <your-user-name>

Now comes the fun part: Mounting your backup! For me, my backups are located on my NAS, which in turn are mounted (read-only, for saftey!) into
/media/ds212/backup/<your-hostname>/backup_YYMM

To mount the this backup repository, do a

obnam mount --repository /media/ds212/backup/<your-hostname>/backup_1310/ --client-name <your-hostname> --viewmode=multiple / --to=/home/<your-user-name>/tmp/obnam
Note: Execute the command above as your regular user, not as root! The backup will be mounted as ready-only -- makes sense with a backup, does it?

Now you should be able to access your backup within

/home/<your-user-name>/tmp/obnam

The cool thing is: With the option --viewmode=multiple just supplied above you can access all backup generations so far created at once. The latest folder contains a link to the, well, latest backup made.

To unmount the backup you need to be root however: sudo umount obnam

Have fun with this cool feature!

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