Cedar Backup's primary command-line interface is the cback command. It controls the entire backup process.
The cback command has the following syntax:
Usage: cback [switches] action(s) The following switches are accepted: -h, --help Display this usage/help listing -V, --version Display version information -b, --verbose Print verbose output as well as logging to disk -q, --quiet Run quietly (display no output to the screen) -c, --config Path to config file (default: /etc/cback.conf) -f, --full Perform a full backup, regardless of configuration -M, --managed Include managed clients when executing actions -N, --managed-only Include ONLY managed clients when executing actions -l, --logfile Path to logfile (default: /var/log/cback.log) -o, --owner Logfile ownership, user:group (default: root:adm) -m, --mode Octal logfile permissions mode (default: 640) -O, --output Record some sub-command (i.e. cdrecord) output to the log -d, --debug Write debugging information to the log (implies --output) -s, --stack Dump a Python stack trace instead of swallowing exceptions -D, --diagnostics Print runtime diagnostics to the screen and exit The following actions may be specified: all Take all normal actions (collect, stage, store, purge) collect Take the collect action stage Take the stage action store Take the store action purge Take the purge action rebuild Rebuild "this week's" disc if possible validate Validate configuration only initialize Initialize media for use with Cedar Backup You may also specify extended actions that have been defined in configuration. You must specify at least one action to take. More than one of the "collect", "stage", "store" or "purge" actions and/or extended actions may be specified in any arbitrary order; they will be executed in a sensible order. The "all", "rebuild", "validate", and "initialize" actions may not be combined with other actions.
Note that the all action only executes the standard four actions. It never executes any of the configured extensions. 
Display usage/help listing.
Display version information.
Print verbose output to the screen as well writing to the logfile. When this option is enabled, most information that would normally be written to the logfile will also be written to the screen.
Run quietly (display no output to the screen).
Specify the path to an alternate configuration file.
The default configuration file is
Perform a full backup, regardless of configuration. For the collect action, this means that any existing information related to incremental backups will be ignored and rewritten; for the store action, this means that a new disc will be started.
Include managed clients when executing actions. If the action being executed is listed as a managed action for a managed client, execute the action on that client after executing the action locally.
Include only managed clients when executing actions. If the action being executed is listed as a managed action for a managed client, execute the action on that client — but do not execute the action locally.
Specify the path to an alternate logfile. The default
logfile file is
Specify the ownership of the logfile, in the form
user:group. The default ownership is
root:adm, to match the Debian standard
for most logfiles. This value will only be used when
creating a new logfile. If the logfile already exists when
the cback command is executed, it will
retain its existing ownership and mode. Only user and group
names may be used, not numeric uid and gid values.
Specify the permissions for the logfile, using the
numeric mode as in chmod(1). The default mode is
This value will only be used when creating a new logfile.
If the logfile already exists when the
cback command is executed, it will retain
its existing ownership and mode.
Record some sub-command output to the logfile. When this option is enabled, all output from system commands will be logged. This might be useful for debugging or just for reference. Cedar Backup uses system commands mostly for dealing with the CD/DVD recorder and its media.
Write debugging information to the logfile. This option
produces a high volume of output, and would generally only
be needed when debugging a problem. This option implies
--output option, as well.
Dump a Python stack trace instead of swallowing exceptions. This forces Cedar Backup to dump the entire Python stack trace associated with an error, rather than just propagating last message it received back up to the user interface. Under some circumstances, this is useful information to include along with a bug report.
Display runtime diagnostic information and then exit. This diagnostic information is often useful when filing a bug report.
You can find more information about the various actions in the section called “The Backup Process” (in Chapter 2, Basic Concepts).
In general, you may specify any combination of the
purge actions, and
the specified actions will be executed in a sensible order. Or,
you can specify one of the
initialize actions (but these actions may not be
combined with other actions).
If you have configured any Cedar Backup extensions, then the
actions associated with those extensions may also be specified on
the command line. If you specify any other actions along with an
extended action, the actions will be executed in a sensible order
per configuration. The
all action never
executes extended actions, however.
 Some users find this surprising, because extensions are configured with sequence numbers. I did it this way because I felt that running extensions as part of the all action would sometimes result in “surprising” behavior. Better to be definitive than confusing.