Jacquelin Charbonnel
and 1 contributors


rocknroll - Rsync fOr baCKup and Roll

Light backup tool based on rsync.


  # rocknroll --init n tag dstdir           # initialization 

  # rocknroll [options] tag srcdir dstdir   # backup

  # rocknroll --help

  # rocknroll --man


rocknroll backups a remote directories tree srcdir in local directory dstdir. Using the link-dest option of rsync, it manages a set of differential archives, named tag.1, tag.2, etc.

dstdir can contain several set of differential archives. For example, dstdir can contain 2 sets named daily.1 daily.2 daily.3 daily.4 daily.5 daily.6 daily.7 and weekly.1 weekly.2 weekly.3 weekly.4.

Before a dstdir can be able to store an archive set, it must be formatted with the --init option.



the name of the archive set.


the topdir to backup, with the format of the srcdir of rsync : [[user@]hostname:]dir


the local destination directory for the backup.


Almost command line options can be specified as well into the configuration file.

-c config_file

use an alternate config file.

By default, the config file rocknroll.conf is searched in @/, @/../etc/, /etc/, /etc/rocknroll.d/ (in this order) where @ is the directory containing the rocknroll script.


start again with an existing .tag.running archive (useful after an abort)


debug mode


don't perfom any action, just say what it could be done


print usage


print the manual

don't specify any --link-dest option to rsync(1)


don't roll the archives set


only update the archive tag.1 (without deletion of any files on it). Don't roll the archives set.

--ro "--opt1 --opt2 --opt3"

rsync option : pass some options to rsync(1) (useful only as command line option)


update archive tag.1 (with deletion of obsolete files). Don't roll up archives set.


Options are also taken from directives specified into rocknroll.conf, a file located in @/, @/../etc/, /etc/, /etc/rocknroll.d/ where @ is the directory contained the rocknroll script.

The format of a line is :



  option value

A # starts a comment.

Configuration file content

Each following directive can be passed as well as an option on the command line.

by default the --link-dest option of rsync(1) is set to the tag.1 directory. This option is to bypass this default.

mail_from email

set the email address of the sender for mail alerts

mail_to email

set the email address of the recipient for mail alerts

max_runtime time_in_second

set the max among of time that a backup can take. Older than this value, a .tag.running temporary directory can be deleted.

rsync_path path/to/rsync

specify the path of the rsync command line (default /usr/bin/rsync)

rsync_retcode_ok n,n,n,n...

specify a list of return codes of rsync considered as OK codes. Each code not specified with --rsync_retcode_ok or --rsync_retcode_warn is considered as an error return code.

rsync_retcode_warn n,n,n...

specify a list of return codes of rsync considered as warning codes. Each code not specified with --rsync_retcode_ok or --rsync_retcode_warn is considered as an error return code.

ro_default "--opt1 --opt2"

pass some options to rsync (useful only in config file). Default is "--hard-links --archive -e ssh".

send_warn 0|1

send alert on warning (default is send alert only on error)

smtp_server smtp_server

set the SMTP server

use_syslog 0|1

enable to talk to syslog


This operation is needed before a directory can be used as a backup destination.

--init n

format a backup directory to receive n archives.



the configuration file


a control file located in the archive directory, related to the tag archive set.


This file stores the number of archives declared at the initialization of the tag archives set. It is useful to recovery a normal state, in case of some archives disappear. Normaly, the number stored in this file must match the number of current archives in the set. If not, a warning is sent. If this file is not found, it is re-create according of the current state of the archive set, and a warning is sent.


the temporary directory (located in the archive directory) for the running rsync.


  # rocknroll --init 7 daily /var/backup/myserver
  # rocknroll --init 4 weekly /var/backup/myserver
  # rocknroll --init 12 monthly /var/backup/myserver

prepare the directory /var/backup/myserver to receive 3 sets of respectively 7 archives named daily, 4 archives named weekly and 12 archives named monthly.

  # rocknroll daily myhost.mydomain:/ /var/backup/myserver

perform a new backup of myhost.mydomain:/, add it as daily.1 to the archive set into the local directory /var/backup/myserver, and roll the set daily(forget the existing daily.7)


rsnapshot, <http://rsnapshot.org>. rsnapshot and rocknroll have similar functionalities, and rsnapshot has been the first on the place. But when I began to think about rocknroll, I've never heard of rnspashot.


Jacquelin Charbonnel, <jacquelin.charbonnel at math.cnrs.fr>


Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-Dir-Rocknroll at rt.cpan.org, or through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=Dir-Rocknroll. I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc Dir-Rocknroll

You can also look for information at:


Copyright Jacquelin Charbonnel < jacquelin.charbonnel at math.cnrs.fr >

This software is governed by the CeCILL-C license under French law and abiding by the rules of distribution of free software. You can use, modify and/ or redistribute the software under the terms of the CeCILL-C license as circulated by CEA, CNRS and INRIA at the following URL "http://www.cecill.info".

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In this respect, the user's attention is drawn to the risks associated with loading, using, modifying and/or developing or reproducing the software by the user in light of its specific status of free software, that may mean that it is complicated to manipulate, and that also therefore means that it is reserved for developers and experienced professionals having in-depth computer knowledge. Users are therefore encouraged to load and test the software's suitability as regards their requirements in conditions enabling the security of their systems and/or data to be ensured and, more generally, to use and operate it in the same conditions as regards security.

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