RESTORE(8) BSD System Manager's Manual RESTORE(8)
restore -- restore files or file systems from backups made with dump
restore -C [-cklMvVy] [-b blocksize] [-D filesystem] [-f file] [-F script] [-L limit]
[-s fileno] [-T directory]
restore -i [-achklmMNuvVy] [-A file] [-b blocksize] [-f file] [-F script] [-Q file]
[-s fileno] [-T directory]
restore -P file [-achklmMNuvVy] [-A file] [-b blocksize] [-f file] [-F script] [-s fileno]
[-T directory] [-X filelist] [file ...]
restore -R [-cklMNuvVy] [-b blocksize] [-f file] [-F script] [-s fileno] [-T directory]
restore -r [-cklMNuvVy] [-b blocksize] [-f file] [-F script] [-s fileno] [-T directory]
restore -t [-chklMNuvVy] [-A file] [-b blocksize] [-f file] [-F script] [-Q file]
[-s fileno] [-T directory] [-X filelist] [file ...]
restore -x [-achklmMNuvVy] [-A file] [-b blocksize] [-f file] [-F script] [-Q file]
[-s fileno] [-T directory] [-X filelist] [file ...]
(The 4.3BSD option syntax is implemented for backward compatibility but is not documented
The restore command performs the inverse function of dump(8). A full backup of a file sys-
tem may be restored and subsequent incremental backups layered on top of it. Single files
and directory subtrees may be restored from full or partial backups. Restore works across a
network; to do this see the -f flag described below. Other arguments to the command are
file or directory names specifying the files that are to be restored. Unless the -h flag is
specified (see below), the appearance of a directory name refers to the files and (recur-
sively) subdirectories of that directory.
Exactly one of the following flags is required:
-C This mode allows comparison of files from a dump. Restore reads the backup and com-
pares its contents with files present on the disk. It first changes its working
directory to the root of the filesystem that was dumped and compares the tape with
the files in its new current directory. See also the -L flag described below.
-i This mode allows interactive restoration of files from a dump. After reading in the
directory information from the dump, restore provides a shell like interface that
allows the user to move around the directory tree selecting files to be extracted.
The available commands are given below; for those commands that require an argument,
the default is the current directory.
add [arg] The current directory or specified argument is added to the list of
files to be extracted. If a directory is specified, then it and all its
descendents are added to the extraction list (unless the -h flag is
specified on the command line). Files that are on the extraction list
are prepended with a ``*'' when they are listed by ls.
cd arg Change the current working directory to the specified argument.
The current directory or specified argument is deleted from the list of
files to be extracted. If a directory is specified, then it and all its
descendents are deleted from the extraction list (unless the -h flag is
specified on the command line). The most expedient way to extract most
of the files from a directory is to add the directory to the extraction
list and then delete those files that are not needed.
extract All files on the extraction list are extracted from the dump. Restore
will ask which volume the user wishes to mount. The fastest way to
extract a few files is to start with the last volume and work towards
the first volume.
help List a summary of the available commands.
ls [arg] List the current or specified directory. Entries that are directories
are appended with a ``*''. Entries that have been marked for extraction
are prepended with a ``*''. If the verbose flag is set, the inode num-
ber of each entry is also listed.
pwd Print the full pathname of the current working directory.
quit Restore immediately exits, even if the extraction list is not empty.
setmodes All directories that have been added to the extraction list have their
owner, modes, and times set; nothing is extracted from the dump. This
is useful for cleaning up after a restore has been prematurely aborted.
verbose The sense of the -v flag is toggled. When set, the verbose flag causes
the ls command to list the inode numbers of all entries. It also causes
restore to print out information about each file as it is extracted.
Restore creates a new Quick File Access file file from an existing dump file without
restoring its contents.
-R Restore requests a particular tape of a multi-volume set on which to restart a full
restore (see the -r flag below). This is useful if the restore has been inter-
-r Restore (rebuild) a file system. The target file system should be made pristine
with mke2fs(8), mounted, and the user cd'd into the pristine file system before
starting the restoration of the initial level 0 backup. If the level 0 restores suc-
cessfully, the -r flag may be used to restore any necessary incremental backups on
top of the level 0. The -r flag precludes an interactive file extraction and can be
detrimental to one's health (not to mention the disk) if not used carefully. An
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
restore rf /dev/st0
Note that restore leaves a file restoresymtable in the root directory to pass infor-
mation between incremental restore passes. This file should be removed when the
last incremental has been restored.
Restore, in conjunction with mke2fs(8) and dump(8), may be used to modify file sys-
tem parameters such as size or block size.
-t The names of the specified files are listed if they occur on the backup. If no file
argument is given, the root directory is listed, which results in the entire content
of the backup being listed, unless the -h flag has been specified. Note that the -t
flag replaces the function of the old dumpdir(8) program. See also the -X option
-x The named files are read from the given media. If a named file matches a directory
whose contents are on the backup and the -h flag is not specified, the directory is
recursively extracted. The owner, modification time, and mode are restored (if pos-
sible). If no file argument is given, the root directory is extracted, which
results in the entire content of the backup being extracted, unless the -h flag has
been specified. See also the -X option below.
The following additional options may be specified:
-a In -i or -x mode, restore does ask the user for the volume number on which the files
to be extracted are supposed to be (in order to minimise the time be reading only
the interesting volumes). The -a option disables this behaviour and reads all the
volumes starting with 1. This option is useful when the operator does not know on
which volume the files to be extracted are and/or when he prefers the longer unat-
tended mode rather than the shorter interactive mode.
Read the table of contents from archive_file instead of the media. This option can
be used in combination with the -t, -i, or -x options, making it possible to check
whether files are on the media without having to mount the media.
The number of kilobytes per dump record. If the -b option is not specified, restore
tries to determine the media block size dynamically.
-c Normally, restore will try to determine dynamically whether the dump was made from
an old (pre-4.4) or new format file system. The -c flag disables this check, and
only allows reading a dump in the old format.
The -D flag allows the user to specify the filesystem name when using restore with
the -C option to check the backup.
Read the backup from file; file may be a special device file like /dev/st0 (a tape
drive), /dev/sda1 (a disk drive), an ordinary file, or '-' (the standard input). If
the name of the file is of the form ``host:file'' or ``user@host:file'', restore
reads from the named file on the remote host using rmt(8).
Run script at the beginning of each tape. The device name and the current volume
number are passed on the command line. The script must return 0 if restore should
continue without asking the user to change the tape, 1 if restore should continue
but ask the user to change the tape. Any other exit code will cause restore to
abort. For security reasons, restore reverts back to the real user ID and the real
group ID before running the script.
-h Extract the actual directory, rather than the files that it references. This pre-
vents hierarchical restoration of complete subtrees from the dump.
-k Use Kerberos authentication when contacting the remote tape server. (Only available
if this options was enabled when restore was compiled.)
-l When doing remote restores, assume the remote file is a regular file (instead of a
tape device). If you're restoring a remote compressed file, you will need to specify
this option or restore will fail to access it correctly.
The -L flag allows the user to specify a maximal number of miscompares when using
restore with the -C option to check the backup. If this limit is reached, restore
will abort with an error message. A value of 0 (the default value) disables the
-m Extract by inode numbers rather than by file name. This is useful if only a few
files are being extracted, and one wants to avoid regenerating the complete pathname
to the file.
-M Enables the multi-volume feature (for reading dumps made using the -M option of
dump). The name specified with -f is treated as a prefix and restore tries to read
in sequence from <prefix>001, <prefix>002 etc.
-N The -N flag causes restore to perform a full execution as requested by one of -i,
-R, -r, -t or -x command without actually writing any file on disk.
Use the file file in order to read tape position as stored using the dump Quick File
Access mode, in one of -i, -x or -t mode.
It is recommended to set up the st driver to return logical tape positions rather
than physical before calling dump/restore with parameter Q. Since not all tape
devices support physical tape positions those tape devices return an error during
dump/restore when the st driver is set to the default physical setting. Please see
the st man page, option MTSETDRVBUFFER, or the mt man page, on how to set the driver
to return logical tape positions.
Before calling restore with parameter Q, always make sure the st driver is set to
return the same type of tape position used during the call to dump. Otherwise
restore may be confused.
This option can be used when restoring from local or remote tapes (see above) or
from local or remote files.
Read from the specified fileno on a multi-file tape. File numbering starts at 1.
The -T flag allows the user to specify a directory to use for the storage of tempo-
rary files. The default value is /tmp. This flag is most useful when restoring files
after having booted from a floppy. There might be little or no space on the floppy
filesystem, but another source of space might exist.
-u When creating certain types of files, restore may generate a warning diagnostic if
they already exist in the target directory. To prevent this, the -u (unlink) flag
causes restore to remove old entries before attempting to create new ones.
-v Normally restore does its work silently. The -v (verbose) flag causes it to type
the name of each file it treats preceded by its file type.
-V Enables reading multi-volume non-tape mediums like CDROMs.
Read list of files to be listed or extracted from the text file filelist in addition
to those specified on the command line. This can be used in conjunction with the -t
or -x commands. The file filelist should contain file names separated by newlines.
filelist may be an ordinary file or '-' (the standard input).
-y Do not ask the user whether to abort the restore in the event of an error. Always
try to skip over the bad block(s) and continue.
Complains if it gets a read error. If -y has been specified, or the user responds 'y',
restore will attempt to continue the restore.
If a backup was made using more than one tape volume, restore will notify the user when it
is time to mount the next volume. If the -x or -i flag has been specified, restore will
also ask which volume the user wishes to mount. The fastest way to extract a few files is
to start with the last volume, and work towards the first volume.
There are numerous consistency checks that can be listed by restore. Most checks are self-
explanatory or can ``never happen''. Common errors are given below.
Converting to new file system format
A dump tape created from the old file system has been loaded. It is automatically
converted to the new file system format.
<filename>: not found on tape
The specified file name was listed in the tape directory, but was not found on the
tape. This is caused by tape read errors while looking for the file, and from using
a dump tape created on an active file system.
expected next file <inumber>, got <inumber>
A file that was not listed in the directory showed up. This can occur when using a
dump created on an active file system.
Incremental dump too low
When doing an incremental restore, a dump that was written before the previous
incremental dump, or that has too low an incremental level has been loaded.
Incremental dump too high
When doing an incremental restore, a dump that does not begin its coverage where the
previous incremental dump left off, or that has too high an incremental level has
Tape read error while restoring <filename>
Tape read error while skipping over inode <inumber>
Tape read error while trying to resynchronize
A tape (or other media) read error has occurred. If a file name is specified, its
contents are probably partially wrong. If an inode is being skipped or the tape is
trying to resynchronize, no extracted files have been corrupted, though files may
not be found on the tape.
resync restore, skipped <num> blocks
After a dump read error, restore may have to resynchronize itself. This message
lists the number of blocks that were skipped over.
Restore exits with zero status on success. Tape errors are indicated with an exit code of
When doing a comparison of files from a dump, an exit code of 2 indicates that some files
were modified or deleted since the dump was made.
If the following environment variable exists it will be utilized by restore:
TAPE If no -f option was specified, restore will use the device specified via TAPE as the
dump device. TAPE may be of the form "tapename", "host:tapename" or
TMPDIR The directory given in TMPDIR will be used instead of /tmp to store temporary files.
RMT The environment variable RMT will be used to determine the pathname of the remote
RSH Restore uses the contents of this variable to determine the name of the remote shell
command to use when doing a network restore (rsh, ssh etc.). If this variable is
not set, rcmd(3) will be used, but only root will be able to do a network restore.
/dev/st0 the default tape drive
/tmp/rstdir* file containing directories on the tape
/tmp/rstmode* owner, mode, and time stamps for directories
./restoresymtable information passed between incremental restores
dump(8), mount(8), mke2fs(8), rmt(8)
Restore can get confused when doing incremental restores from dumps that were made on active
A level 0 dump must be done after a full restore. Because restore runs in user code, it has
no control over inode allocation; thus a full dump must be done to get a new set of directo-
ries reflecting the new inode numbering, even though the content of the files is unchanged.
The temporary files /tmp/rstdir* and /tmp/rstmode* are generated with a unique name based on
the date of the dump and the process ID (see mktemp(3) ), except when -r or -R is used.
Because -R allows you to restart a -r operation that may have been interrupted, the tempo-
rary files should be the same across different processes. In all other cases, the files are
unique because it is possible to have two different dumps started at the same time, and sep-
arate operations shouldn't conflict with each other.
To do a network restore, you have to run restore as root or use a remote shell replacement
(see RSH variable). This is due to the previous security history of dump and restore.
(restore is written to be setuid root, but we are not certain all bugs are gone from the
restore code - run setuid at your own risk.)
The dump/restore backup suite was ported to Linux's Second Extended File System by Remy Card
<card@Linux.EU.Org>. He maintained the initial versions of dump (up and including 0.4b4,
released in january 1997).
Starting with 0.4b5, the new maintainer is Stelian Pop
The dump/restore backup suite is available from
The restore command appeared in 4.2BSD.
restore 0.4b28 April 12, 2002 restore 0.4b28