May 21

Installing archfs on Ubuntu (to browse rdiff-backup repositories)

Category: Linux,Ubuntu   — Published by tengo on May 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

When you do backups with rdiff-backup, browsing snapshots older than the current one might quite quickly become a cumbersome command-line orgy. There are a number of tools out there to ease the pain with a graphical frontend. The rdiff-backup Wiki neatly lists them here, but you will soon find out that they are cgi based, thus they need a local (or remote) webserver to work - which I find too much of a hassle - or they simply limit functionality.

One elegant solution of using the command line to store new backups but still be conveniently able to browse the repository is to mount the repository directory via archfs as a virtual file system (with the help of FUSE).

Running Ubuntu (or debian), installation of archfs is quick and simple:

  1. Download the archfs tar ball
  2. unpack using tar, for example with tar -xvpf archfs-0.5.6b.tar.gz 
  3. change into the director, for example with cd archfs-0.5.6/
  4. Make sure you've got libfuse-dev installed,
    another common problem seems to be zliblg-dev, see
    in general the next step (configure) will tell you if you system is lacking something
  5. run ./configure
  6. sudo make
  7. sudo make install

That's it. You can then mount a rdiff-backup repository with

archfs <mount point> <rdiff-backup repository>

And as archfs is FUSE base, unmounting the mount works via

sudo fusermount -u <mount point>