Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Thu Nov 29 02:05:54 UTC 2007

Paul Smith wrote:
> Dear All,
> What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
> external hard disk? Can one do that while logged in? Or should one use
> the rescue CD?

Mount the external disk somewhere or note where it auto-mounted, cd to 
the top of the directory where you want to start, then:
rsync -avH  . /path/to/destinaton/directory

If you repeat this on the same drive it will know enough to only copy 
the changed parts - and you may or may not want to add the --delete 
option to remove files that no longer exist on the source.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at

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