May 26, 2018

Portable performant script to make rolling ZFS snapshots easy

zfsnap makes rolling ZFS snapshots easy and - with cron - automatic.

The main advantages of zfsnap are its portability, simplicity, and performance. It is written purely in /bin/sh and does not require any additional software - other than a few core *nix utilies.

zfsnap stores all the information it needs about a snapshot directly in its name; no database or special ZFS properties are needed. The information is stored in a way that is human readable, making it much easier for a sysadmin to manage and audit backup schedules.

Snapshot names are in the format of pool/fs@[prefix]Timestamp–TimeToLive e.g. pool/fs@weekly-2014-04-07_05.30.00–6m. The prefix is optional but can be quite useful for filtering, Timestamp is the date and time when the snapshot was created, and TimeToLive TTL is the amount of time the snapshot will be kept until it can be deleted.

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