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File dates

For normal file systems different attributes like `mtime, ctime and atime exists to record the times of changes to files. Those values might change if and when files are copied to other locations like remote filesystems or object storages. Because of this, backmon internally uses 4 different types of timestamps:

TimestampMeaningDefault for files in local storageDefault for files in S3
born_atThe time when the file has been initally created. This timestamp is the same if the file is copied to another locationmtimeTimestamp of upload
modified_atThe time when the file were last modifiedmtimeTimestamp of upload
archived_atThe time when the file were moved to a long-term storagemtimeTimestamp of upload
interpolated_timestampBased upon the file's and parent directories names, the timestamp of the file is calculatedinterpolation with defaults from mtimeinterpolation with defaults from timestamp of upload

As you can see in the Default for... columns, by default they point all to the same value. To overwrite those timestamps with your own values, you can use .stat files.


The interpolated_timestamp is calculated by backmon during the file discovery phase. If you have defined a file pattern for your backups which contains date formats like %Y or %d, those values will be applied. For missing parts of the date, the timestamp of the selected .sort algorithm is used as reference date. In case that .sort has not been set or has been set to interpolation, a fallback to the modified_at timestamp happens.

.stat / dotstat files

You can override a file's timestamp by using a .stat file The .stat file has the same filename as the backup file, except that you have to add the suffix .stat at the end. If your backup file is named 20220719-postgres.tar.gz, you must name your .stat file 20220719-postgres.tar.gz.stat.

Format of .stat files

.stat files have a simple YAML format. backmon recognizes the following keys which corresponds to backmon's timestamp types:

born_at<empty> (unix timestamp)No
modified_at<empty (unix timestamp)No
archived_at<empty (unix timestamp)No
  • The difference between modified_at - born_at gives the duration in seconds that was needed to create the backup.
  • The field archived_at can be set if after creating the backup an upload to a long-term archive like S3 does not happen directly. You can simply add the parameter before you upload the backup and dotstat file.

Example format of .stat file

born_at: 12313213
archived_at: 13818188
modified_at: 129939399

Sample script for creating a backup and dotstat file

For example, if you create your backups with pg_dump, you can store the values as follows:

TODAY=$(date +'%Y%m%d')
NOW=$(date +"%s")

# create dump
echo "born_at: $NOW" >> "$FILE.stat"
pg_dump -U postgres -F t my_database > $FILE
NOW=$(date +"%s")
echo "modified_at: $NOW" >> "$FILE.stat"

# for demonstration purposes, sleep some seconds
sleep 300
NOW=$(date +"%s")
# copy backup to S3
aws s3 cp "$FILE." s3://my-backup-bucket/
echo "archived_at: $NOW" >> "$FILE.stat"
aws s3 cp "$FILE.stat" s3://my-backup-bucket/