Work related to DiskArchiver / saraB

I wrote this article originally back in 2005. It was originally available at  The information you find below might be rather outdated now and I don’t plan to work on it further, but I put it in the blog for archival purposes on this particular date – Georg in June 2011.

DiskArchiver (DAR) is an highly sophisticated backup and archive tool written by Denis Corbin. It has some advantages over the widely spread tar or zip formats. Some of its key features are:

  • Each file can be compressed individually. If there is an error inside an archive file only one file is corrupt, not the entire archive (like tar.gz). gzip and bzip2 are supported as algorithms.
  • The position of the files inside the archive is recorded in the catalogue. During a restore you have not to scan the whole archive (like tar). You have direct access.
  • Support for differential backup
  • Handle deleted files: if an file is not present in a differential run it is marked as deleted. If you do recovery these deleted files are also honored.
  • Differential backups are usually based on isolated catalogues. An isolated catalogue is the list of files (among other information) which has been saved during a backup run.
  • Automatically splits the archive to support removable media with limited space.
  • Ability for remote operation.

For more information goto .


saraB stands for schedule and rotate automatic Backups and is a frontend for dar. Through an easy to use configuration it supports backup schemes like Towers of Hanoi or Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS).saraB is actually a shell script and has been written by Tristan Rhodes.

For more information goto .

From the release of version 0.2.2 in 2004-09 up to now there has been some bugfixes and improvements on the mailing list:

  • Bugfix for mail reports (Tristan Rhodes)
  • Bugfix for cut/awk problem (Tristan Rhodes and Alfredo Tripicchio)
  • Added support for ARCHIVE_SCRIPT (Steven Clark). ARCHIVE_SCRIPT is a script which is executed after a backup has taken place. The script can be activated via the keyword archive in the file rotation.schedule.
  • Maintain a central isolated catalogue file for all virtual tapes (Steven Clark).

I have collected and merged (manually) the various patches. You can download the altered file here: sarab-0.2.2_georglutz.tar.gz