Random Thoughts: Backing Up and More

It is August again, and it seems I have less time for blogging every week. At the moment I have to devote most of my time to studying economics and business administration. Hence I rarely have time to test new applications, not to speak about testing new distributions. I need operating systems, applications and distributions that just work.

Unfortunately, this means that I just cannot spend an evening or a weekend with configuring some of the more interesting distributions I have really tried to use. Crux and Arch are two distros that I most probably would enjoy using, but at the moment I'm going to continue using distributions that I've used since the beginning of my geek years: openSUSE and Debian. SuSE 7.1 or 7.2 was the first Linux I installed to be used as my main desktop in 2001 at the University where I worked as a researcher. Since then, I've tried and used most of the mainstream distros at least for a year or two on desktop either at work or home.

At home, I use openSUSE 11.1 as my main desktop. It is supported by a Debian box that at the moment serves me as a quick & dirty backup for my files. I have not had time to build anything fancy: I did a command line only installation on the box that can be used only over ssh in the LAN.

I back up my desktop simply by first turning the Debian box on, and then I execute a very simple script that basically rsyncs the /home partition on openSUSE with the remote /home/backups/ on the Debian box. So I have not yet built any automated backup system with incremental or differential backups, I just mirror the files of the ordinary users on another computer.

The backups can "easily" be restored by sftp or by mounting the Samba share provided by the Debian box. I decided to use Samba instead of a purely Linux solution, because I wanted to be able to copy the backups even to a XP laptop and my eMac. I would love to have a fully functioning system that can sync the files between several computers in different locations, but at the moment the project has to rest for some time.


fuxter said...

actually your previous posts moved me to recreate my current (i mean past) backup system. so i run thought articles you've mentioned and now i've got really simple and clean backup solution mostly based on Mike Rubel work. rsync and cp -al is all i needed, it turned out! permission problems doesn't touch me. and i use the same methods on my linux and windows machines. it works nice by now. and i am pleased.
so, thank you for sharing and moving me that way.

Mikko said...

Fuxter, Rubel's article is a really good starting point for any backup solution. When I next have a couple of hours free time, I'm going to read it more throughly.