Linux Journal: The Skinny on Backups and Data Recovery, Part 3Mar 17, 2000, 20:57 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)
"Your Linux system actually has a number of options for doing backups. The most popular commands are cpio and tar. Other command-line tools such as dd, dump and afio are available (although afio might not be included in your distribution). tar and cpio are still quite useful and powerful, and are the ones I usually use myself."
"The main advantage of cpio over tar is that it does somewhat better packing of data on your backup medium and it handles errors better as well, particularly when dealing with tape. There is one other advantage. When using tar, you tend to work in terms of short lists of directories or files. With cpio, you can largely customize the files that wind up in an archive."
"Linux's tar isn't your plain old tar; it's GNU tar. This means you have some advantages, making it that much more interesting. For instance, GNU tar makes it possible to do compression on the fly (with both standard compression and gzip compression). You can also specify multi-volume backups."