DVD Backup

Instructions for Using SIBYLS DVD Backup Service


Data can be backed up to DVDs using a Web-based interface. An entire directory tree may be chosen for archiving onto DVDs, or individual directories may be selected. Jobs can be submitted and tracked using the same interface. Once the backup has completed, the DVDs are mailed directly to the user.

Logging In

The DVD system is accessed via a web interface. To use the system, type your Unix account name and password in the login page and click on Submit.

Selecting Directories and Files

  • By default, Blu-Ice writes image files to the /data disk. When you first login and select “submit a new backup job” you will be asked to select whether you want o back up all files or just images files. all files is ALL files. Image files includes files with *.img or *.mccd extensions.


  • Clicking on the name of a directory in the Lefthand side selection box will list the contents of the directory.

  • Select directories to be copied by clicking on the “Add to backup” link to the right of each directory. Selected directories will then appear in the box to the right.

  • Sub-directories will be included by default. If you do NOT want Sub-Directories to be included you can toggle this option in the Backup job definition box.

  • Symbolic links deserve special care. The target file pointed to by a symbolic link will be included in the backup. However, if the link points to another directory in the file system, neither the target directory nor the files within it will be part of the backup.

  • Remove entries from the Selected Directories list by clicking on the “Remove” link.

  • Specify that a new DVD should be started by clicking “Start New Disk” link. The default is to backup all of your selected directories onto as few DVDs as possible so this is set to “No”.

Submitting the Job

  • Choose a Unique Job Name no more than 20 characters in length. The Unique Job Name will be printed on the DVD label and may not contain spaces or certain special characters such as double quotes (“) or backslashes (/).


  • Check Burn 2 copies of DVD if you would like to receive two copies of each DVD.

  • Before the job can be submitted, all shipping information must be supplied. Fill in your name, e-mail, contact phone number and address. Verify that these are correct to avoid delays. Your job’s status will be periodically e-mailed to you.

  • Click on Finish to submit the job.

Checking the Job Status or Aborting a Job

  • After submitting a backup job, the progress can be checked from the “Track your backup jobs” link.

  • The Jobs Status Page contains a table listing all active jobs (in the DVD Job column).


  • The list of files to be backed up can be accessed by clicking on View under Job Definition. When the copying phase of the job completes, the list is updated to show the contents of each DVD. The file system on the DVDs is absolute - file names will start with /data/accountname or /home/accountname.

  • The Job Status column shows these messages:

    • Copying: One or more ISO image files are currently being created from the file list and subsequently transferred to the DVD burner.
    • Halted: The job was halted during the copy phase, either by user command or by an error. Check the job’s log for more information.
    • In Queue: The DVD job has been queued on the DVD burner.
    • Mailed: The DVDs have been burned and shipped.
    • Completed: (rare) The copy phase was completed but no admin information exists regarding the burning or mailing of the DVDs. This can appear for old jobs created before the current admin program was written, or for newer ISO-ONLY jobs run by staff for testing.
    • Unknown: (rare) The current state of the job can not be determined.
  • The Command column can be used to:

    • Abort the job. (click on Halt Job). Currently this is only possible while the ISO file is being created. Once the ISO file has been transfered to the server, the job cannot be aborted. Contact beamline support staff if a mistake has been made.
    • Delete a completed job from the table (click on Purge Job). The entry will be permanently erased.
  • To view the full log information (including the job number, number of DVDs, and the job’s progress), click on the View link under the Log column.

Obtaining DVDs

DVDs will be mailed via Fedex 3rd day delivery.

This DVD backup webapp was made possible by code originally developed in the SMB group at SSRL and generously shared with the SIBYLS beamline.