Command Syntax: arcvpkgcopy

Copyright 2008 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2008 Oct 12


This is part of a series of articles on backing up computers. The top page is Design for an Archiving Backup System.

This page describes the command line syntax of the program.


The program is used to copy package files from the cache directory to another backup drive. Typically this is used to copy the cache contents onto an external USB drive, by doing this you get another degree of redundancy in case of failure.

This program does a read after write integrity check of all the package files it copies to make certain they were copied correctly.


The arcvlist program gets configuration information from the config.ini file.

The full command syntax is:

arcvpkgcopy [-h] [-s start] [-e end] [-n number] [-b dbbackup] destdir

where items in the square brackets are optional.

The only required parameter is the destdir which is the directory where the package files will be copied to. The source of the package files is always the cache directory set as specified by config.ini. path within the database to be listed.

To support copying a large cache directory to a sequence of smaller drives the utility will look for a file in the root directory on the target drive called "start-at.txt" if this exists, read it and parse out the number it contains which is the number of the first pkg file that should go onto this disk. This way when one disk fills up and you press a new one into service you just need to put a "start-at.txt" file into the root directory of the new disk and when you next run arcvpkgcopy it will start with the appropriate package.


The -h parameter will bring up a short syntax help prompt and then stop.

The -s parameter allows you to specify the starting package number to be copied. If you do not specify this the program will look at the destination to see if any packages have already been copied and start with the next highest package number. If there are no files in the destination then it will start with the lowest package number that is present in the cache. Typically you don't need to specify this unless you run out of space on your destination drive and need to continue with a new drive, in which case you want to tell it to start copying to the new drive where it left off on the previous drive.

The -e parameter allows you to specify the ending package number to be copied. If you do not specify this the program will copy all the package files that are in the cache. You might also want to consider using the -n parameter to limit the number of cache files that are copied at one time.

The -n parameter allows you to specify the maximum number of package files to be copied at one time. This is applied after any -e and -s parameters are applied. If you are using 100MB package files, then setting this to something like -n 200 will result in the program taking up to about an hour to run (depending on the speed of your machine and drives).

The -b parameter allows you to automatically copy the latest zipped backup version of the version database to the specified directory. This is a good practice to follow as it gets you another redundant copy of the version database plus there is a copy of the version database stored with the package files, so in the future if you need to restore anything from those package files there is an appropriate version database handy, and you won't have to wait for the command to run.

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