home directories wiped out

One of our IT staff messed up his upload scripts and somehow wiped out all of our home directories, including the public_html mount. Can you restore this? I think the data is still there (we can stream), but the mount point is missing.

Thanks and apologies…


It looks like there’s a bunch of data still in your home directory and in your web space, so I’ve replaced the public_html link (your web site really lives in /public/html/whup)

If you truly lost any files, we should be able to restore them from backup?


Thanks Don. We did lose some of the other files in our user directory. Please restore from the latest backup.

Thanks again!

Well, yesterday was when I learned that the university retired the backup system ibiblio has used for years, and that we currently have no backups of user home directories. I’m only a volunteer so I don’t know when this happened or whether there are plans for home directory backups in the future.

If you have further questions I’m happy to run this up the chain.


Please do! We really need to know if there are no plans for future backups of our data.

I have good news and better news. The good news is that you can look in the ~/restore folder when you log in to login.ibiblio.org as your user that you’ve been using. You should see a dated folder that has the contents of your home directory from that date, which looks like it’s most everything. That’s the oldest backup we had according to our campus-provided storage admin.

The better news is that moving forward, you should be able to “cd .snapshot” any time you’re in a directory in/under your home directory, and you should see snapshots going back several hours every hour, several days every day, and a couple of weeks. These snapshots are not true backups in that if some catastrophic failure were to happen to our campus-provided storage, there’s no separate system to restore from. However, this does allow you to recover from an “oops I didn’t mean to delete that” moment.

I’m sorry we haven’t been more timely with our response. The tumult out in the world is also affecting us here in our offices in ways big and small. I’m glad we were able to bring you good news, and I hope you’ll forgive us for how long it took us to bring it. I should also close by thanking @dls for digging in and prompting us to pursue adding the snapshots, which lead us to find that snapshots were already there–just not discoverable by users on the systems that mount the users volume. Thanks so much Don!!