Percona XtraBackup User Manual

XtraBackup is really a set of three tools:

a wrapper script that provides functionality to backup a whole MySQL database instance with MyISAM, InnoDB, and XtraDB tables.
a compiled C binary, which copies only InnoDB and XtraDB data
tars InnoDB data safely.

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.

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The innobackupex Script