shell script to backup files and directories in Linux using tar & cron jobs

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The vi Editor

Backup Using TAR

Backing up your files using tar is very simple you just type a little command.

tar -cvpzf /BackupDirectory/backupfilename.tar.gz /ImportantData/directory/path
Let’s suppose i have directory called /imp-data on root and i want to make backup of this directory including sub directories on different location like in /mybackupfolder.
In above example my command will be.

tar -cvpzf /mybackupfolder/backup.tar.gz /imp-data


Now Create file using vi editor and paste below script.

vi /
#AutoBackup of Important Data

TIME=`date +"%b-%d-%y"`             # This Command will add date in Backup File Name.
FILENAME="backup-$TIME.tar.gz"      # Here i define Backup file name format.
SRCDIR="/imp-data"                  # Location of Important Data Directory (Source of backup).
DESDIR="/mybackupfolder"            # Destination of backup file.

This Script will make backup of /imp-data directory and save it into a single compressed file on /mybackupfolder Directory.



Now i will show you how to schedule our backup process. In Linux we use cron jobs in order to schedule task.
For setting up cron jobs we use crontab -e command in shell, this command basically says we are going to edit our cron jobs file. If you run first time crontab -e command then it will ask you to default text editor, you just select your favorite editor after that it will never ask you again.

crontab -e

Format of Crontab. It has 6 Parts:

Minutes    Hours     Day of Month    Month     Day of Week     Command

0 to 59       0 to 23      1 to 31               1 to 12        0 to 6                Shell Command

Let’s Suppose i want to run this backup process on every Mon and Sat  at 1:pm.
In Above Condition my Crontab file should be like this.

crontab -e
#   Minutes    Hours      Day of Month       Month    Day of Week    Command

      01        13               *             *        1,6          /bin/bash /

Now Done…..

To know more about the scheduled job in linux:

Linux Cron Job – Schedule Job in linux: crontab

PHP Cron Job: How to Execute PHP file Using Crontab in Linux

For any query or issue, feel free to discuss on

One thought on “shell script to backup files and directories in Linux using tar & cron jobs

  • February 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    You can see your active cron with the terminal command:

    crontab -l
    Here are the parameters in order:

    1) min (0 – 59)

    2) hour (0 – 23)

    3) day of month (1 – 31)

    4) month (1 – 12)

    5) day of week (0 – 6) (Sunday=0)

    6) command

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