Skip to main content

Flexible utility for rotating backup files.

Project description Documentation Status

Flexible utility for rotating backup files.

This utilty rotates files - typically backup archives. It offers three rotation algorithms - FIFO, Tower of Hanoi, and tiered (a generalization of grandfather-father-son). It requires no configuration file, just command-line parameters. The script is stand-alone (python required) and tracks its state by applying a naming convention to rotated files.


Use Case

We assume that you have an archive, say /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz that is the result of an external process (e.g., tar -czf, or mysqldump) that recurs (e.g., using cron). You will use this script to add this file into a rotation set. If the size of the set is greater than the maximum number of files to keep (configurable), then the rotation set will be trimmed according to a rotation algorithm, which is configurable.

Example of running:

archive-rotator -v -n 5 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz

This will rename mydump.tgz to something like this:


Given this configuration, the rotation script automatically keep at most 5 files in the rotation. When the script is run six times, the set of archives would be too big, so the oldest will be deleted. This is an example of the simple (FIFO) rotation algorithm.


Run archive-rotator -h for documentation of command-line parameters.


FIFO (simple)

This rotation scheme keeps the last n archives. It emphasizes recency at the cost of history and/or disk space.

Tower of Hanoi

This rotation scheme is described here: It emphasizes long history and saving disk space, but is not very tunable.

Example of running:

archive-rotator –hanoi -v -n 6 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz

Given this configuration, the rotation script automatically keep at most 6 files in the rotation, rotated every 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 runs, respectively. So, after 32 rotations, the directory will look something like this:

/path/to/foo/mydump.tgz.2013-01-03-094732.backup-16 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz.2013-01-03-094734.backup-24 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz.2013-01-03-094735.backup-28 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz.2013-01-03-094736.backup-30 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz.2013-01-03-094737.backup-31 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz.2013-01-03-094738.backup-32


This is a generalization of the grandfather-father-son rotation algorithm (described here - This algorithm is capable of handling a variety of rotation schedules.

This algorithm, unlike the others, accepts a list of one or more -n configurations. Each one is a “tier”. For example:

# three tiers: the first will hold 6 files, the second will hold 3, the third will hold 12 archive-rotator –tiered -v -n 6 -n 3 -n 12 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz

If the example above were run daily, we’d approximate 6 daily, 3 weekly, and 12 monthly backups in the rotation set.

You may configure any number of slots to each tier. If we have a single tier with 8 slots, the algorithm will behave identically to the FIFO algorithm configured with eight slots. If we add a second tier with two slots, then the algorithm will fill one of those two second-tier slots every ninth run. If we add a third tier with one slot, then the algorithm will put the archive into the third tier slot for every two it puts into the second tier.

Two tier example: -n 3 -n 2. id : 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 … maps to slot: 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 7 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 … tier: : 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 …

Three tier example: -n 2 -n 2 -n 2. id : 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 … maps to slot: 0 1 2 0 1 5 0 1 8 0 1 2 0 1 5 … tier: : 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 …

If we have tiers of size j, k, l, and m, then m is rotated every (j+1)(k+1)(l+1) runs.

This algorithm can replicate the behavior of both FIFO and Tower of Hanoi.

# FIFO with 6 slots: archive-rotator –tiered -v -n 6 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz # hanoi with 4 slots: archive-rotator –tiered -v -n 1 -n 1 -n 1 -n 1 /path/to/foo/mydump.tgz


Tools used in rendering this package:


0.1.0 (2015-11-23)

  • First release on PyPI.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for archive-rotator, version 0.1.0
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size archive_rotator-0.1.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (11.8 kB) File type Wheel Python version 2.7 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size archive-rotator-0.1.0.tar.gz (18.9 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page