AFS Backups

Standard Backups

All Andrew File System (AFS) user files are backed up to tape daily. "AFS user files" means any user directory or file in the AFS system belonging to an AFS user, including all directories and files in the user's account. You can tell if a file is in AFS by issuing the command "pwd" in the directory containing that file. If the system response begins with "/afs", then the file is in AFS.

Note: Many AFS workstations in private labs have local user accounts and files which are not in AFS and are NOT backed up. If the owners of these workstations wish to have these local user accounts and files backup up, it is their personal responsibility to do so.

Local user accounts and files are those local to the machine -- not in AFS -- and specifically created by or for the users of that machine. This includes local home directories, and directories made by the user in any of the machine's local (not AFS) directories.

Often, the contents of local accounts and directories can be copied to an AFS user account (assuming that the user has adequate AFS disk quota).



On-line Backups

  • On-line backups of AFS user accounts are taken daily. The contents of the on-line backup is a snapshot of the user's account.
  • These on-line backups are read-only: nothing in them can be modified. However, the owner of the backup can read any file in it, and copy any file in it to another location.
  • The AFS permissions in the on-line backup are exactly the same as in the account that is the source of the backup. AFS permissions
  • On-line backups do NOT count against a user's AFS disk quota.
  • On-line backups are automatically made available to users via the read-only directory BACKUP-AFS.ACCOUNT in the user's login (home) directory.


If a user is over-quota, the BACKUP-AFS.ACCOUNT directory may be missing from the user's home directory. However, the snapshot of the user's account from the most recent backup is still available, and can be made accessible to the user.


Note: Files or directories created and then deleted between consecutive on-line backups are not recoverable.


Last Updated: June 29, 2017