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Backup Manager with database


StoreMan is a combination of a comfortable backup program and a db based archive manager. The software is ideal suited to store backup / archive files on a (Free)NAS box and on USB disk drives (as well as on a local harddisks) - and for searching files without the need to have the storage devices permanently online.
StoreMan is a Linux GUI - program, written in Python and using the wxWidgets cross-platform Gui-library.



To run StoreMan, you need Python >= 2.7.x (not 3.x) and wxPython 2.8.x.x or better installed on your computer. In addition it would be wise to install the following module (not needed, but nice to have):

StoreMan has been tested on computers running Kubuntu Linux (KDE), Ubuntu Linux (GNOME) and Windows XP SP3.


At the very first start of StoreMan, two files will be created in your home directory:

Later you can decide to store these files elsewhere on your computer.

StoreMan works with tasks and jobs. In short, a task holds the information about what to do and the job holds the information about when to do it. A job without an associated task is called useless. Normally one or more tasks are associated with a job. A task can be associated with more than one job. A job can be executed and runs the task(s) associated with it. A task cannot be run without a job.

If you have already backup files stored on your storage device(s) it would be a good idea to scan these devices first. The scan will collect all relevant information (dir, filename, size, ...) and store these in the database. To start the Scan manager, select Scan - Manage scan dirs or type CTRL-S or use the context menu.

Secondly you may want to create one or more tasks. You do this by calling the Task Manager. This can be done by clicking Backup - Manage task(s) or by typing CTRL-T or via the context menu - click the right mouse button and choose Manage task(s).
In the Task Manager you click New to create a new task. A New / Edit backup task dialog will pop up. You can change the default taskname, set the source and destination paths for the backup, decide if subdirectories should be included in the backup or not. You can edit regular expressions to exclude files and / or directories from the backup and you can select the compression method which has to be used.

Thirdly you may want to create one or more jobs. You do this by calling the Jobs Manager. This can be done by clicking Backup - Manage job(s) or by typing CTRL-J or via the context menu - click the right mouse button and choose Manage job(s).
In the Job Manager you click New to create a new job. A New / Edit backup job dialog will pop up. You can change the default jobname, decide to mark the job for immediate execution or for scheduled execution (or both), select date, time and interval for scheduled execution and - most important - you can select, which of your previously defined tasks should be associated with this job.

Now you are ready for a first backup run. If you have marked one or more jobs for immediate execution, these jobs are highlighted in the Backup jobs sub-window. If you have not chosen one, you can do so by clicking on the job with the middle mouse button / wheel. After that, click on the Immediate Job Execution shortcut icon  or menu or context menu. Now you are set - your job will be executed.

As a last step you may want to execute a query on the database (now holding the information from the previously executed device scan and from the job execution). You can press the shortcut Execute query icon or use the menu or context menu. After a short delay (depends on the speed of your computer and the number of entries in the database) you will see all information in the query results window. You can now refine your query by using the filters.
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StoreMan GUI has a main window for database Query results and 4 small sub-windows named Backup jobs, Scan dirs, Databases and Log messages. You can close and reopen these small windows (using the View menu) or you can drag these windows around and place them at different positions either inside or outside the main frame.

Main window

The main window includes a menu- and toolbar with shortcut icons for quick access of the most wanted actions. It also includes filter comboboxes with histories. Query filters are available to narrow down directory, file, size and / or date.


The % sign is the wildcard char in the filter fields. This char is placeholder for 0 to n chars. For example: %jpg matches 'jpg', 'picture.jpg' but not 'abc.jpeg'. You can use 0, 1 or more wildcards in one field. %wil% matches 'wildcard', 'wil', 'in_th_wild' and so on.

If you mark a line in the Query results window by clicking it, the directory part of that line is copied to the system clipboard. You may want to paste it into another application (i.e. a text editor).

If a line is marked, you are also able to delete the item from the storage device and from the database. This can be done via the File menu, by typing CTRL-R or via the context menu entry.

Context menu

If you double click a line in the Query results window, the preselected filemanger (see Program settings - Listcontrol) will start and open the directory  which is the first part of the line.


And finally, the main window contains a statusbar divided into 4 fields. From left to right they are:

The status led is implemented to help you to know, what's going on with the app (see table).

led color meaning
red no connection to the selected database could be established
blue scan is in progress
light blue backup / copy job is being executed
yellow database query in progress
light red not all available matches are listed in the Query results window (see 'Preferences', 'Display limit')
green ready - waiting for actions

The first of the two multi function fields (field #3 and field #4) can indicate backup statistics (B:), matchcount (M:) or recordcount (R:).

See examples in table below.

field #3 field #4 context
B: 1.207, 2, 1 /data/prog/python/StoreMan backup task running, 1207 files read, 2 files
skipped, 1 error (i.e. unable to open)
M: 127 /opt/StoreMan/storeman.db3 database query executed, 127 matching results
R: 14.210 /mnt/mpmd/home/mersmann directory scan executing, 14210 entries are currently
in the database.
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Common program setup is done via the Preferences menu. To get to the menu, use 'Options', 'Preferences', type CTRL-F or use the context menu (right mouse click). The Preferences notebook dialog has 4 tabs.


Preferences - Execution  

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Preferences - Listctrl

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Preferences - Database

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Preferences - Misc

Note for Windows users: the StoreMan application does not put any values in the Windows registry.

Logfile remark:
Logfiles are written by a RotatingFileHandler with a maxBites size of 64 / 512 kB and a backupCount of 4 backups. Rollover occurs whenever the current log file is nearly maxBytes in length. If backupCount is >= 1, the system will successively create new files with the same pathname as the base file, but with extensions ".1", ".2" etc. appended to it. For example, with a backupCount of 4 and a base file name of "app.log", you would get "app.log", "app.log.1", "app.log.2", ... through to "app.log.4". The file being written to is always "app.log" - when it gets filled up, it is closed and renamed to "app.log.1", and if files "app.log.1", "app.log.2" etc. exist, then they are renamed to "app.log.2", "app.log.3" etc. respectively. This is the same technique as you might have seen in the /var/log dir of Linux systems.

The format of a logfile line is:  date  time  [- taskname] -- message i.e.

Action-log (64 kB)
2010-02-09 09:42:49 -- DB-connect - database '/opt/StoreMan/test.db3' opened

Backup-log (512 kB)
2010-02-09 09:43:33 - weekly -- Skipped (exclude match): /home/mersmann/.bazaar/explorer/bookmarks.xml~
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Mount fs (feature only on Linux systems available)

StoreMan can mount predefined entries from the fstab. The supported fs types are nfs and cifs (Samba). You can activate the Mount manager via Options, Mount fs or by typing CTRL-M.

Mount manager

The screenshot shows 4 coloured entries. Items in red are mountable by StoreMan and items in green have been mounted by StoreMan. You can select one of these items and press the (Un)Mount button or you can doublecklick the item.
The next screenshot shows part of the fstab file:

fstab file
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Backup tasks

The Manage tasks dialog is shown below.

Task manager

In this dialog you see the existing tasks in the left pane and all information about the selected (highlighted) task in the right pane.

In the main window (Backup jobs sub-window part), you can gain access to quick information about a task after expanding the job the task belongs to and by right clicking the task item. You can navigate in the Backup jobs sub-window with the mouse, by typing the first char of a job- / taskname and by typing the '+' (expand all jobs) or the '-' (collapse all jobs) sign.

Task info
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The New / Edit tasks dialog notebook has 5 tabs.

Task Id

If the New / Edit backup task is started with New, you can change the taskname in the Task Id tab from the default task-current_date_and_time to a name that fits your needs. If the start is via Edit, the taskname is not changeable.

Task paths

In the Paths tab you can

Task Regular expressions

In the Exclude re's tab you can define which directories and / or files should not be included in the backup. This is done via regular expressions. If you press Add, Add dir or Edit and insert or edit a regular expression and hit RETURN, the expression is compiled and validated. If the expression is valid, the status column indicates 'valid', if not, the status column shows the word 'error' and the expression is shown in red.
In the upper part of the dialog files and dirs from the Source path (tab Paths) are listed (wihout the contents of subdirs) as an example. The valid regular expressions are applied and matching lines are coloured. So you can test if the defined regular expressions fit your needs.
If you press the help button you will see a HTML page from the python reference library with an explanation of the re grammar.
Remark: re's are always applied to the full expanded filenames (fefn).

You want to save your /etc directory but do not want to save editor backup files with the format 'name~' in your /etc dir, nor do you want to save the subdir apt (files and subdirs) and last but not least you do not want to backup the dirs /etc/rc0.d, /etc/rc1.d and so on.
The full expanded filenames (fefn) in this case are for example '/etc/fstab', '/etc/vsftpd.user_list', '/etc/apt/sources.list' and so on. You need three regular expressions to accomplish the mission:

Regular expr. (re) Explanation Matching fefn
The first '(.*)' says - skip all fefn starting with any char (the .), repeated 0..n times (the *). '~' says - the next char has to be a '~'. '$' says - now the line must end. /etc/fstab~
The first '(.*)' says - the fefn to be skipped has to start with any chars followed by '/apt/. The last '(.*)' says - skip any following chars. /etc/apt/sources.list
In this example the matching fefn has to start with '/etc/rc'. The '.' says - now skip one char. To match a '.' in a file or dir name you have to escape the '.' because of its special re meaning. Escaping is done by the '\' - so we have to type '\.'. The next char has to be a 'd'. A third alternative is the re '/etc/rc.\.d/(.*)' and there are more. /etc/rc5.d/README

If you want to know more about regular expressions, search the internet for this topic, i.e. or press the Help button on the Exclude re's tab for the re syntax.

Task Compression

On the Compression tab you decide either to use (create archive) or not to use compression (only copy files). If you want to use compression, you have the choice of several methods. In the latter case the next tab is activated.

Task Misc

In the Misc tab you can choose if your compressed backups (archives) are to be prepended or appended by a date - time - stamp. This is very useful, because if you decide to use the stamp, there is no danger for overwriting an older file - except you run the same job twice in the same minute. 
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Backup jobs

The Manage jobs dialog is shown below. The dialog is similar to the Manage tasks dialog.

Job manager

In this dialog you see the existing jobs in the left pane and all information about the selected (highlighted) job in the right pane.

In the main window you can gain access to quick information about a job by right clicking the item in the Backup jobs sub-window. You can navigate in the Backup jobs sub-window with the mouse, by typing the first char of a job- / taskname and by typing the '+' (expand all jobs) or the '-' (collapse all jobs) sign.

Job info
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The New / Edit jobs dialog notebook has 3 tabs.

Job info

Remark: it is possible and sometimes makes sense, to check both checkboxes - Immediate exec and Scheduled exec.

Job execution

In the Job execution tab you can

Job tasks

In the Job task list tab you determine, which of the defined tasks will be associated with this job. A job with 0 tasks is useless. You may connect 1 or more tasks to a job by clicking the appropriate checkbox.
The New button is a shortcut to the New / Edit backup task dialog.
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Scan directories

The Manage scan dialog is shown below.

Scan manager

In this dialog you see the directory tree of your system in the left pane, a history of previously selected dirs in the upper right pane (for quick navigation) and the currently selected scandirs in the lower right pane.

Scan info

The Scan dirs sub-window shows in the upper part the dirs currently selected for a scan run. This information is saved in the INI file.
In the lower part the window lists the dirs that are already scanned. This information is stored in the currently used database.

If you execute the defined scan ('Scan', 'Execute scan' or type SHIFT-CTRL-S), all directories are scanned recursively and the filenames (with dir info), sizes and creation dates are stored in the database for queries.
Important: You should execute a scan on a non empty storage devices, before executing a backup job. So the database will be in sync with your storage device.

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StoreMan uses a built-in standard Sqlite database to store backup information. You can inspect the interior of the database (if you like) with any Sqlite database tool, i.e Sqliteman ( Database handling is done byYou can select a database via the Database menu, by typing CTRL-O or by double clicking on an item in the Databases sub-window. Database(s) store information about scanned devices and backup runs - NOT the backup data.

The Manage database dialog is shown below.

Database manager

The left pane lists the Known databases. The right pane shows information about the selected database.

Remark: You can make a database to the currently active database by double clicking on the name in the left pane of the database manager or by double clicking on the name in the database sub-window.

In the main window, you can gain access to quick information about a database by right clicking the item in the Databases sub-window.

Database context
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Final note

All screenshots shown in this document, are taken from StoreMan 2.0x running on Linux (Kubuntu 12.04, KDE 4.8.x).

If you like the software, use it (at your own risk). If you have suggestions or encounter bugs - please send me an email. If you do not like the software - throw it away.

Thanks go to

StoreMan was designed and coded by Frank Mersmann (
Beta tests where conducted and hints were made by Wolfgang Bredow (