Automate data backup at the command line

Verifying the Archive

In the same easy way, you can check data integrity with the Attic backup program. The command

attic check /<Repository-Path>/<Repository-Name>.attic

checks the repository and all its archives. The status is then output as a short message (Figure 2). If inconsistencies appear, you can perform repairs by repeating the command with the added --repair parameter.

Figure 2: At a glance, you can see whether all the data was stored correctly.


To restore an archive, use the extract option by entering

attic extract /<Repository-Path>/<Repository-Name>.attic::<Archive-Name>

which starts the recovery of the entire archive content to the original storage path. The software lists the individual files. The target path can be changed by an additional path specification, and you can exclude parts of the archive from the restore action.

Of course, Attic can also store backups on a remote server and retrieve them during a restore. It expects the same syntax as for a local backup; you address the server as follows:


However, enabling encryption is recommended when creating repositories on server systems. Attic uses 256-bit AES for encryption and HMAC-SHA256 for verification. Attic encrypts the data before storing it in the archive.


The software supports backup runs that are controlled and automated by cron jobs. To prevent the number of existing repositories from getting out of hand in the long run, Attic provides the prune parameter to let you define the storage life of older repositories. This option determines a maximum number of archives to be kept in the repository. You can define whether these are archives created hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. However, they first must have been generated with the date parameter.

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