systematic backups in Linux?
tony at baechler.net
Sat May 3 10:11:42 UTC 2008
Karen Lewellen wrote:
> I am trying to remember the command for learning my file size usage up
> here, but as I now have .pdf files missing too, it would not be
> correct in any case.
> I may now need to create a server of my own, since I cannot imagine
> having to send something back up here if I need it...which has
> happened 4 times in the past few days.
> Plus I want to keep my folder structure in pine if I can.
Well, rsync works both ways, so if files are missing from a remote
account that are present locally, it will copy them as well as copying
remote files to the local server. The idea is to keep a directory
structure synchronized. I've used it to back up hard drives and my home
directory on a server with great success. I recently posted here about
backing up email when Daniel asked, but the short answer is that it
should work just as well for folders and mailboxes as anything else. I
have several hundred mbox format mailboxes that copied fine. Also,
rsync works over ssh so it should work fine assuming you have a shell
account and ssh is supported. That is far more secure than ftp which
has no encryption at all.
I had another thought. There are various online backup services that
might eliminate the need for you to download a huge amount of data and
wouldn't require DSL or your own server. Of course you would have to
pay for such a service, but since it's all done online, you would have
nothing to worry about storing locally. There is one service that uses
rsync but I'm not remembering the name at the moment. I think the idea
is that you use rsync to move your files as you would normally but you
back them up to a restricted ssh account on their server. I have no
idea what prices are or how much space you get.
To get you started, here is a sample command line which I use to backup
my home directory:
rsync tony at example.com:~/ .
Or, to "archive" files including all directories, file permissions,
dates and times, etc as well as giving more verbose output:
rsync -av tony at example.com:~/ .
You could replace the dot with another drive and path, like this:
rsync -av tony at example.com:~/ g:\serverhome
That doesn't even scratch the surface of what rsync can do but that
should get you started. As with all good tools, it has options to
exclude certain files if you have some stored locally already and don't
want to back them up. It scans both local and remote directories first
so it doesn't download files that are already present, saving time and
bandwidth. I wouldn't go back to ftp again for any serious backing up
because rsync is so much faster and more flexible.
Keep me posted, I'm interested in what options you decide to pursue and
how it works out.
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