[dvlug] Mailing list backups

Robert Wall robertlikesturtles at gmail.com
Mon Jun 15 14:56:45 PDT 2009

Hi everyone,

Before the dvlug list went down, there was some discussion of backing up
the mbox file for the mailing list. The cron command I mentioned at the
time had a couple of problems, and it took me a while to tweak it
properly, so I figured I'd give an update in case anyone else plans on
backing up through cron. Here's what my crontab line is now:

42 23 * * * wget -O /home/robert/dvlugmbox/dvlug.`date -u +\%s`.mbox

(my mail client probably broke that up into two lines; it should be all
on one line)

Some notes:
* the backup file name needs to have the current date in it, or you'll
end up with an empty, useless backup if the site goes down (I say that
from experience...)
* % means "new line" in crontabs, so it needs to be escaped to \%
* There needs to be a blank line at the end of crontab files for some
* Edit /home/robert/dvlugmbox/ to suit
* Note that the above will make a new file every day, and doesn't delete
old backups. I guess that could be a problem if you have limited disk

Any suggestions for further improvement would be appreciated!

~ Robert

Robert Wall <robertlikesturtles at gmail.com>
Web: http://www.rww.name/
OpenPGP fingerprint: EF31 62BC 85B2 0566 7732 B0B4 7B88 E371 6AB3 FC6C
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