Sitarba is a simple backup tool to create full, differential or incremental tarballs of given file sets. Each backup belongs to an epoch (e.g. hour, day, week, month, year). Sitarba keeps for every epoch a configured number of backups.


I use sitarba on my notebook in two ways:


$ sitarba --help
sitarba - a simple backup solution.

  /usr/bin/sitarba {options} [cmd]
  /usr/bin/sitarba --help

  backup                     make a new backup, if necessary
  list                       list all backups (default)
  prune                      prune outdated/old backups

  -h, --help                 print this usage text
  -c, --conf FILE            use given configuration file
                             default: /etc/sitarba.conf
  -e, --epoch EPOCH          force to create backup for given epoch, which
                             can be 'sporadic' or one of the configured epochs
  -m, --mode MODE            override mode: full, diff, or incr
  -v, --verbose              be more verbose and interact with user
  --verbosity LEVEL          set verbosity to LEVEL, which can be
                             error, warning, info, debug
  -V, --version              print version info

A sample configuration file could like the following:

# Where sitarba stores the backups and other stuff
backupdir = /media/backup

# Which format should be used by tar?
# One of tar, tar.gz (default), tar.bz2, tar.xz
#format = tar.gz

# Path of the tar binary. (Default: /bin/tar)
#tarbin = /bin/tar

# Each option starting with "exclude" contains a single --exclude pattern for
# tar. Files matching the pattern are not included into the backup. Tar is
# invoked with "-C /" and, thus, exclude patterns refering to absolute paths
# need to start with "./" instead of "/".
exclude1 = */tmp/*
exclude2 = */*[Cc]ache/*
exclude3 = */log*
exclude4 = *.o

# Configure the epoch 'hour'. If left out no hourly backups are made. The
# epochs hour, day, week, month and year already define a timespan which cannot
# be overridden.
[epoch hour]
# The number of backups to keep for that epoch (positive integer)
numkeeps = 4
# The mode of this epoch. Can be one of 'full', 'diff', 'incr'. (Default: full)
mode = incr
# Each option starting with "exclude" defines an --exclude pattern for tar.
# These exclude patterns only apply to this epoch.
exclude1 = ./home/*/.thunderbird/*

# [epoch day]
# numkeeps = 14
# mode = diff

# [epoch week]
# numkeeps = 8
# mode = full

# [epoch month]
# numkeeps = 24
# mode = full

# [epoch year]
# numkeeps = 99
# mode = full

# Configure a user-defined epoch called 'biweek'.
[epoch biweek]
numkeeps = 13
mode = full
# The timespan of this epoch in the format 'UNIT' or 'INTEGER * UNIT',
# where INTEGER must be positive and UNIT must be one of 'hour', 'day',
# 'week', 'month', 'year'.
timespan = 2*week

# A file set called 'home'. Each file set is packed into one archive using tar.
[set home]
# Each option starting with "dir" contains a single directory which belongs to
# this file set.
dir1 = /home/username/
dir2 = /media/books/
# Each option starting with "exclude" defines an --exclude pattern for tar.
# These exclude patterns only apply to this file set.
exclude1 = ./home/*/media/*

[set conf]
dir1 = /etc/


Sitarba is written in python and comes along with a man page. You can obtain the git repository or a tarball of the current source tree or of specific versions via

If you prefer direct links to tag’s archives you may use these:


Installation is done by simply calling in the source directory as a privileged user make install.