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Restic

Don't be like Cameron. Backup your stuff.

Restic is a backup program intended to be easy, fast, verifiable, secure, efficient, and free. Restic supports a range of backup targets, including local disk, SFTP, S3 (or compatible APIs like Minio), Backblaze B2, Azure, Google Cloud Storage, and zillions of others via rclone.

Restic is one of the more popular open-source backup solutions, and is often compared favorable to "freemium" products by virtue of its licence.

Details

Ingredients

Ingredients

Preparation

Setup data locations

We'll need a data location to bind-mount persistent config (an exclusion list) into our container, so create them as below:

mkdir -p /var/data/restic/
mkdir -p /var/data/config/restic
echo /var/data/runtime >> /var/data/restic/restic.exclude

Note

/var/data/restic/restic.exclude details which files / directories to exclude from the backup. Per our data layout, runtime data such as database files are stored in /var/data/runtime/[recipe], and excluded from backups, since we can't safely backup/restore data-in-use. Databases should be backed up by taking dumps/snapshots, and backing up these dumps/snapshots instead.

Prepare environment

Create /var/data/config/restic/restic-backup.env, and populate with the following variables:

# run on startup, otherwise just on cron
RUN_ON_STARTUP=true

# when to run (TZ ensures it runs when you expect it!)
BACKUP_CRON=0 0 1 * * *
TZ=Pacific/Auckland

# restic backend/storage credentials
# see https://restic.readthedocs.io/en/stable/040_backup.html#environment-variables
#AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=xxxxxxxx
#AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=yyyyyyyyy
#B2_ACCOUNT_ID=xxxxxxxx
#B2_ACCOUNT_KEY=yyyyyyyyy

# will initialise the repo on startup the first time (if not already initialised)
# don't lose this password otherwise you WON'T be able to decrypt your backups!
RESTIC_REPOSITORY=<repo_name>
RESTIC_PASSWORD=<repo_password>

# what to backup (excluding anything in restic.exclude)
RESTIC_BACKUP_SOURCES=/data

# define any args to pass to the backup operation (e.g. the exclude file)
# see https://restic.readthedocs.io/en/stable/040_backup.html
RESTIC_BACKUP_ARGS=--exclude-file /restic.exclude

# define any args to pass to the forget operation (e.g. what snapshots to keep)
# see https://restic.readthedocs.io/en/stable/060_forget.html
RESTIC_FORGET_ARGS=--keep-daily 7 --keep-monthly 12

Create /var/data/config/restic/restic-prune.env, and populate with the following variables:

# run on startup, otherwise just on cron
RUN_ON_STARTUP=false

# when to run (TZ ensures it runs when you expect it!)
PRUNE_CRON=0 0 4 * * *
TZ=Pacific/Auckland

# restic backend/storage credentials
# see https://restic.readthedocs.io/en/stable/040_backup.html#environment-variables
#AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=xxxxxxxx
#AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=yyyyyyyyy
#B2_ACCOUNT_ID=xxxxxxxx
#B2_ACCOUNT_KEY=yyyyyyyyy

# will initialise the repo on startup the first time (if not already initialised)
# don't lose this password otherwise you WON'T be able to decrypt your backups!
RESTIC_REPOSITORY=<repo_name>
RESTIC_PASSWORD=<repo_password>

# prune will remove any *forgotten* snapshots, if there are some args you want
# to pass to the prune operation define them here
#RESTIC_PRUNE_ARGS=

Why create two separate .env files?

Although there's duplication involved, maintaining 2 files for the two services within the stack keeps it clean, and allows you to potentially alter the behaviour of one service without impacting the other in future

Setup Docker Swarm

Create a docker swarm config file in docker-compose syntax (v3) in /var/data/restic/restic.yml , something like this:

Tip

I share (with my sponsors) a private "premix" git repository, which includes necessary docker-compose and env files for all published recipes. This means that sponsors can launch any recipe with just a git pull and a docker stack deploy 👍

version: "3.2"

services:
  backup:
    image: mazzolino/restic
    env_file: /var/data/config/restic/restic-backup.env
    hostname: docker
    volumes:
      - /var/data/restic/restic.exclude:/restic.exclude
      - /var/data:/data:ro
    deploy:
      labels:
        - "traefik.enabled=false"

  prune:
    image: mazzolino/restic
    env_file: /var/data/config/restic/restic-prune.env
    hostname: docker
    deploy:
      labels:
        - "traefik.enabled=false"

networks:
  internal:
    driver: overlay
    ipam:
      config:
        - subnet: 172.16.56.0/24

Note

Setup unique static subnets for every stack you deploy. This avoids IP/gateway conflicts which can otherwise occur when you're creating/removing stacks a lot. See my list here.

Serving

Launch Restic stack

Launch the Restic stack by running docker stack deploy restic -c <path -to-docker-compose.yml>, and watch the logs by running docker service logs restic_backup - you should see something like this:

root@raphael:~# docker service logs restic_backup  -f
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Checking configured repository '<repo_name>' ...
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Fatal: unable to open config file: Stat: stat <repo_name>/config: no such file or directory
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Is there a repository at the following location?
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | <repo_name>
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Could not access the configured repository. Trying to initialize (in case it has not been initialized yet) ...
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | created restic repository 66ffec75f9 at <repo_name>
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    |
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Please note that knowledge of your password is required to access
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | the repository. Losing your password means that your data is
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | irrecoverably lost.
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Repository successfully initialized.
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    |
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    |
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Scheduling backup job according to cron expression.
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | new cron: 0 0 1 * * *
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | (0x50fac0,0xc0000cc000)
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Stopping
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Waiting
restic_backup.1.9sii77j9jf0x@leonardo    | Exiting

Of note above is "Repository successfully initialized" - this indicates that the repository credentials passed to Restic are correct, and Restic has the necessary access to create repositories.

Restoring data

Repeat after me : "It's not a backup unless you've tested a restore"

The simplest way to test your restore is to run the container once, using the variables you're already prepared, with custom arguments, as follows:

docker run --rm -it --name restic-restore --env-file /var/data/config/restic/restic-backup.env \
  -v /tmp/restore:/restore mazzolino/restic restore latest --target /restore

In my example:

root@raphael:~# docker run --rm -it --name restic-restore --env-file /var/data/config/restic/restic-backup.env \
>   -v /tmp/restore:/restore mazzolino/restic restore latest --target /restore
Unable to find image 'mazzolino/restic:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from mazzolino/restic
Digest: sha256:cb827c4c5e63952f8d114c87432ff12d3409a0ba4bcb52f53885dca889b1cb6b
Status: Downloaded newer image for mazzolino/restic:latest
Checking configured repository 's3:s3.amazonaws.com/restic-geek-cookbook-premix.elpenguino.be' ...
Repository found.
repository c50738d1 opened successfully, password is correct
restoring <Snapshot b5c50b19 of [/data] at 2020-06-24 23:54:27.92318041 +0000 UTC by root@docker> to /restore
root@raphael:~#

Restoring a subset of data

The example above restores the entire /var/data folder (minus any exclusions). To restore just a subset of data, add the -i <regex> argument, i.e. -i plex

Chef's Notes 📓

  1. The /var/data/restic/restic.exclude exists to provide you with a way to exclude data you don't care to backup.
  2. A recent benchmark of various backup tools, including Restic, can be found here.
  3. A paid-for UI for Restic can be found here.

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    Last update: June 25, 2020