autoarchive (1) - Linux Man Pages

autoarchive: simple backup utility


aa, autoarchive - simple backup utility


aa/autoarchive  [options] AA_SPEC...


Simple backup utility.

AutoArchive is a simple python script for making backups more easily. It uses tar(1) for creating archives. The idea of the program is that every information needed for making a backup is in one file - the archive spec file (AA_SPEC). Path to this file is passed as a parameter to 'aa' command which reads informations from it and creates desired backup.

Command 'autoarchive' is alias for 'aa'; commands are equivalent.


show program's version number and exit
-h, --help
show this help message and exit
-v, --verbose
Turns on verbose output.
-a ARCHIVER, --archiver=ARCHIVER
Specify archiver type. Supported types are: ('tar', 'targz', 'tarbz2', 'tarlzma', 'tarxz') (default: tarbz2).
-i, --incremental
Perform incremental backup.
-l LEVEL, --level=LEVEL
Specify backup level which should be created. Informations about higher levels will be erased. If not present, creates next level in a row.
-c NUM, --compression-level=NUM
Compression level. If not specified, default behaviour of underlying compression program will be used.

AA_SPEC is an archive spec file. It specifies what should be archived and the archive name. Its standard file name extension is ".aa". For syntax please see README file. It is possible to specify multiple ".aa" files.


Let's say that we want make a backup of configuration files of all users except user foo. Assume that our system has unix-like style of home directories (directory /home contains directories of all users; configuration files begins with dot). Name of this backup will be 'users-config'.

First, create file users-config.aa (it doesn't need to have same name as backup).

 ----- content of file users-config.aa -----

 AutoArchive file for users configuration files


 name: users-config

 path: /home

 include_files: */.*

 exclude_files: foo

 ---------- end of users-config.aa ----------

Then to create the backup just type

  aa users-config.aa

and in current directory will be created archive users-config.tar.bz2.



Files stores informations about incremental backup. They are created by tar(1) archiver.


When creating incremental backup, files and directories specified in 'include_files' are always added to archive, even if they did not changed. This is bug/feature of tar(1).


Robert Cernansky <openhs [at]>



Copyright © 2003 - 2010 Robert Cernansky
Copyright © 2003 - 2010 HOME software

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.


tar(1), gzip(1), bzip2(1), lzma(1), xz(1)