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I am trying to find out if it is possible to do a hot backup of a MySQL slave without stopping the replication... but I cannot find any clear info implying it is possible or not.

I read about Percona's xtrabackup tools and in the documentation they say that using the safe slave backup option, which stops the replication, is always recommended when taking backups from a slave server.

At the same time I see on several blogs on the topic that they do not use this option and just follow the first backup run with a second one with an apply log option.

So, is the safe backup optional and one can backup a slave without stopping the replication?

Or is there any other way/tool?

I want to add that the backup should be able to be used to setup a new slave that would be in sync with the master after it catches up.

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