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Percona XtraBackup is really a set of three tools:
It is possible to use the xtrabackup binary alone, however, the recommend way is using it through the innobackupex wrapper script and let it execute xtrabackup for you. It might be helpful to first learn how to use innobackupex, and then learn how to use xtrabackup for having a better low-level understanding or control of the tool if needed.