I use rsync on gnome-ubuntu 15.10 to back up my data to my server running Debian 8. This creates incremental backups similar to Apples Time Machine. The backup runs every 2 hours so this creates more backups than needed at the expense of hard drive space. I used to manually delete the files from the server and would try to save a monthly backup, 8 weekly backups, 30 daily backups, and 2 weeks of every 2 hour backups. This was a time consuming process of manually selecting the files and thus I was not consistent about removing the extra backups. My backup scripts are written in python and I was going to write a script that would delete old backups that were not needed any more. Even better than writing your own script is finding one that has already been written such as https://rotate-backups.readthedocs.org/en/latest/#rotate-backups-simple-command-line-interface-for-backup-rotation. This script will automatically delete your old backups and you can configure it for many backups you want to keep.
This script is well documented and easy to use. I give it my highest recommendation.
I had a need to rename a file with the current date after running a backup script. This was done on Debian 8 Linux. The backup script would make a file name called “/mnt/backup.chadchenault.com/backup/server.cc.com.webmin/webmin.tar.gz“. I like my backup files with year-month-day at the front of the filename for easy sorting by date. My format is 2016-0422 for the date of April 04, 2016. I am using the date command to insert the current date and this is command that runs automatically after the backup command is run.
mv /mnt/backup.chadchenault.com/backup/server.cc.com.webmin/webmin.tar.gz /mnt/backup.chadchenault.com/backup/server.cc.com.webmin/$(date “+%Y-%m%d.webmin.tar.gz”)
This results in a new filename of “/mnt/backup.chadchenault.com/backup/server.cc.com.webmin/2016-0422.webmin.tar.gz”
Here are an example of testing the date command from the command line.
Create a file “delete.txt”
Copy the file to a new name with current Year-MonthDay.delete.txt format
cp -v delete.txt /root/$(date “+%Y-%m%d.delete.txt”)
The output of the command on 2016-0422 was:
‘delete.txt’ -> ‘/root/2016-0422.delete.txt’
The command was run successfully.