What is bkp?
bkp is a set of Linux shell scripts that perform tape backup optimized for low cost, IDE travan tape drives.
What is the cost and licensing?
bkp is free. It is distributed under the GNU General license. Download it here.
Which IDE tape drive models are supported?
Actually, any tape drive recognized by your kernel (be it IDE or SCSI) that can be accessed via a device link (i.e., /dev/tape, /dev/nht0, etc.) will work with bkp. However, the reason for bkp's existence is its optimization for use with low cost IDE tape drives.
How is it optimized?
bkp uses 'tar' in conjunction with Lee McLoughlin's 'buffer' reblocking program. Parameters have been tested, tweaked, and chosen for maximum performance with IDE tape drives. For example, I was able to get a tape backup operation that normally took two hours down to 45 minutes. In addition, there is virtually no tape "jogging" during backups or restores, which enhances the soft error rate and increases tape reliability.
Are the tapes written in a standard format?
Yes. The archives on tape are written as standard tar archives. You don't need any special restore programs. Simply use tar to restore or list your archives.
What are the backup options? Do you support Incremental and Differential backups?
The way it works is that the first archive on the tape becomes your full backup. After that, all additional archives are incremental backups. You can have as many incremental backups as you want or will fit on a tape. Each incremental backup contains the new and modified files that were added since the last incremental or full archive.
Do you support remote backups?
No. bkp is written as a fast, simple backup program for SOHO environments using a single server. It does not support remote or client backups (though if you could mount a remote file system, it probably would work). If you need more than this, look into programs like Amanda, BRU, and Mondo.
What other programs do I need in order to use bkp?
bkp uses 'tar', 'mt', and 'buffer', and a few other common programs like 'head' and 'date'. You probably have all of these already installed with the exception of 'buffer'. You can download the 'buffer' program here. Or, get Redhat 8/9 RPMS here. The source RPM is here.
Is bkp written in perl?
No. The scripts are written as simple BASH shell scripts. There is no black magic here. It is the combination of common programs and the selection of command line parameters that makes bkp perform well.