Checking for Overdue Backups from the Server

Emborg contains an additional executable, emborg-overdue, that can be run on the destination server to determine whether the backups have been performed recently. It reads its own settings file in ~/.config/emborg/overdue.conf that is also a Python file and may contain the following settings:

default_maintainer (email address -- mail is sent to this person upon failure)
default_max_age (hours)
dumper (email address -- mail is sent from this person)
root (default directory for repositories)
repositories (string or array of dictionaries)

Here is an example config file:

default_maintainer = 'root@continuum.com'
dumper = 'dumper@continuum.com'
default_max_age = 12  # hours
root = '/mnt/borg-backups/repositories'
repositories = [
    dict(host='mercury (/)', path='mercury-root-root'),
    dict(host='venus (/)', path='venus-root-root'),
    dict(host='earth (/)', path='earth-root-root'),
    dict(host='mars (/)', path='mars-root-root'),
    dict(host='jupiter (/)', path='jupiter-root-root'),
    dict(host='saturn (/)', path='saturn-root-root'),
    dict(host='uranus (/)', path='uranus-root-root'),
    dict(host='neptune (/)', path='neptune-root-root'),
    dict(host='pluto (/)', path='pluto-root-root'),

The dictionaries in repositories can contain the following fields: host, path, maintainer, max_age. host is an arbitrary string that is used as description of the repository. It is included in the email that is sent when problems occur to identify the backup and so should be unique. It is a good idea for it to contain both the host name and the source directory being backed up. path is either the archive name or a full absolute path to the archive. If path is an absolute path, it is used, otherwise it is added to the end of root. maintainer is an email address, an email is sent to this address if there is an issue. max_age is the number of hours that may pass before an archive is considered overdue.

repositories can also be specified as multi-line string:

repositories = """
    # HOST      | NAME or PATH      | MAINTAINER           | MAXIMUM AGE (hours)
    mercury (/) | mercury-root-root |                      |
    venus (/)   | venus-root-root   |                      |
    earth (/)   | earth-root-root   |                      |
    mars (/)    | mars-root-root    |                      |
    jupiter (/) | jupiter-root-root |                      |
    saturn (/)  | saturn-root-root  |                      |
    uranus (/)  | uranus-root-root  |                      |
    neptune (/) | neptune-root-root |                      |
    pluto (/)   | pluto-root-root   |                      |

If repositories is a string, it is first split on newlines, anything beyond a # is considered a comment and is ignored, and the finally the lines are split on ‘|’ and the 4 values are expected to be given in order. If the maintainer is not given, the default_maintainer is used. If max_age is not given, the default_max_age is used.

To run the program interactively, just make sure emborg-overdue has been installed and is on your path. Then type:

$ emborg-overdue

It is also common to run emborg-overdue on a fixed schedule from cron. To do so, run:

$ crontab -e

and add something like the following:

34 5 * * * ~/.local/bin/emborg-overdue --mail > ~/.local/share/emborg/emborg-overdue.out 2>&


34 5 * * * ~/.local/bin/emborg-overdue --quiet --mail

to your crontab.

The first example runs emborg-overdue at 5:34 AM every day while saving the output into a file. The use of the --mail option causes emborg-overdue to send mail to the maintainer when backups are found to be overdue.

The second example is similar except the output is suppressed rather than being saved to a file.

Alternately you can run emborg-overdue from cron.daily (described in the root example.

Checking for Overdue Backups from the Client

emborg-overdue can also be configured to run on the client. This can be used when you do not control the server and so cannot run emborg-overdue there. The configuration is identical, except you give the path to the lastbackup file. For example:

default_maintainer = 'me@continuum.com'
dumper = 'me@continuum.com'
default_max_age = 12  # hours
root = '~/.local/share/emborg'
repositories = [
    dict(host='earth (cache)', path='cache.lastbackup', max_age=0.2),
    dict(host='earth (home)', path='home.lastbackup'),

Again, emborg-overdue is generally run from cron.