[Maintenance] Get your backups! Hot off the press!

Luke Shumaker lukeshu at lukeshu.com
Sat Jan 20 21:00:01 GMT 2018


Hi all,

In the interest of having for-realsies backups, instead of having
long, drawn-out discussions about how we should do backups, I've gone
ahead and set up backups!

Description
-----------

  Backups are public, but encrypted.  They may be accessed at

    https://winston.parabola.nu/backup/
    https://proton.parabola.nu/backup/

  by anyone who wants to download them and contribute to the
  resilience of Parabola.

  Each of the servers has a "backup@$HOSTNAME" GPG key that is used
  exclusively for backups.  The private keys for these are accessible
  only by root on that server.  The public keys are included below.

  The backup files for each server are signed by that server's backup@
  key; the integrity of the files can be verified by verifying the
  signature.  The backup files may be decrypted either by the backup@
  key that signed it, or by my (Luke Shumaker's) GPG key.

  The backups are created by Duplicity.

  Once a file is publicly readable (doesn't return HTTP 403), it may
  be considered immutable.  If you're downloading the backups, rsync
  fanciness isn't nescessary, you can just download any files that you
  don't have.

  Full backups are created monthly, and incremental backups are
  created daily.  The servers retain monthly backups indefinitely, and
  daily backups for 2 months.  If you are downloading the backups, you
  are encouraged to retain the backups for longer, if you have the
  disk space to spare.

  Right now, the backups are only being downloaded to my computer.

Future directions
-----------------

  It is bad that I am the only one that can decrypt the backups
  without having access to the server (which is quite possibly
  unavailable, if we're needing to use the backups).  It makes sense
  that I can; if something goes wrong with a server, it's probably me
  who will deal with it.  But, if I'm unavailable, someone else in the
  project should be able to read the backups.  We should discuss who
  all that should be.

  The backups should go other places, in addition to my home computer.
  Maybe we just get several contributors to download them.  Maybe we
  pay for an account at rsync.net.  Maybe we ask if rsync.net will
  sponsor Parabola and store the backups for free.

  /srv/repo/main is not backed up, as (1) it is very large, and (2)
  our mirrors effectively do that for us.  However, if something goes
  wrong with the repo, and the mirrors have already synced that
  breakage, there aren't backups to roll that back to.

  SQL dumps are not performed.  This is bad because taking a
  filesystem backup of the SQL server's storage isn't guaranteed to
  get everything in a consistent state.

  The backup schedule and retention is subject to change, we'll see
  how quickly incremental backups take up space.

  I wish Duplicity had an option to trigger full-backup creation not
  by time intervals, but as a ratio of
  total-incremental-size:full-size.  Maybe I should write that up as
  part of our backup script.

  For that matter, having something that didn't ever require full
  backups, like Borg, would be nice.  However, I wasn't able to find
  satisfactory answers about Borg's encryption or data-portability and
  replication.  Beyond being a "documentation" issue, answers from the
  Borg developers to questions about data-portability and replication
  lead me to not put much faith in Borg.

Public keys
-----------

  <backup at winston.parabola.nu>:

    -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

    mQENBFpiHQQBCADeEwkcbKrkWmzocX/OcVfD2cRUMop4soWZsYk1jVAw/FNZnR/b
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    oaic+76tlFpttNu84G1Z5qnCDTEZ7UpMIIJ5clMibfKAUtp40feQol6cKaFVt8/F
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    7xrP0Ft4aKKktm4vGd8OubItCJIpPPJjnn2dDbVsqWOF4OH4y7yJ/L0MdF26GEhs
    A8ZzNuD5+5kt4JQu26tTSCqSz0wGaGG32ZGmBFD8zkCzb1lryK2KdkZUHCuV0UnZ
    ULdQyy7TU3iL6vEycucSGuhE9dAhzJ5SVM1gL8DcoKRcMJc49+Cc6RHTbf4Rkn8h
    EQARAQABiQE2BBgBCAAgFiEEv48a4hj1Rx9XENoTuofP3rwtWVIFAlpiHQQCGwwA
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    XCtSQcYYRmW/MJmMv94wHK3DqJ6Wzz0rVb1QsrxPww==
    =u8iO
    -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

  <backup at proton.parabola.nu>:

    -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

    mQENBFpjgVQBCADrjhASExndqjByp01o9H5tWP7fshHIyTvJV2WtB0a45x18R11f
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    =LbXS
    -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

-- 
Happy hacking,
~ Luke Shumaker


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