Introduction

... backups? did someone talk about backups? I'm sure I heard someone mention backups here somewhere. Backups! BACKUPS! BACKUPS ARE AWESOME!

That's a direct quote from my IRC history. I find backups quite interesting, particularly from an implementation point of view, and I may sometimes obsess about them a little bit. This is why I've written my own backup software. It's called Obnam. This is its manual.

I'm unusual: most people find backups boring at best, and tedious most of the time. When I talk with people about backups, the usual reaction is "um, I know I should". There are a lot of reasons for this. One is that backups are a lot like insurance: you have to spend time, effort, and money up front to have any use for them. Another is that the whole topic is scary: you have to think about when things go wrong, and that puts people off. A third reason is that while there are lots of backup tools and methods, it's not always easy to choose between them.

This manual is for the Obnam program, but it tries to be useful to everyone thinking about backups.