Linux Backup help

Posted by: Murph

Linux Backup help - 03/21/14 10:43 AM

Since loading Ubuntu in a dual boot with Windows 7, I have slowly come to prefer to use Linux for absolutely EVERYTHING application wise except gaming. It's just plain faster, much better at multi-tasking (with Compiz Cube) and everything is certainly 'free-er'.

I have just one thing left on the utility side. I used to do my automated backups from Windows but now that the PC is always booted to Linux, the backups are getting outdated.

I've been looking through a bunch of options but anyone with practical advice to share would be great as choices are so varied.

These are the considerations.
- Ubuntu Linux 12.04, Unity interface.

- GUI is nice but I'm OK with command line if the MAN doc has lots of examples.

- I'd like to schedule it for regular, over-night runs to a USB drive or remote PC (I currently have working links to my Win7 HTPC machine so it's drives are available but that may create complexity.)

- I don't necessarily need a long incremental history of changed files. If forced into a choice, one single good backup of the 'most current' files is good enough if the alternative is an "ever growing" pile of incremental files chewing up all my space.

Some I've shortlisted but I'm not limited to...

I like the way "rsync" works because it adds incremental functionality but with a minimum of file size increase. However, I'd have to figure out how to schedule it. Probably not a big deal. The tools are there.

"Deja Dup" looks pretty good. Lots of features.

"CrashPlan" seemed to simple too be true, so I downloaded it but it would not recognize my USB drives.

Any thought from the Linux users out there?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/21/14 03:50 PM

"cron" is what you use to schedule tasks.

I like "rsync" too, if I only want the most recent copy of something. Otherwise I use "tar" to bundle up multiple files into one, and use the "date" command to name them with option "--date='last week'" to get a date in the past to match the name of the file I'm wanting to remove.

That should be enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/21/14 03:53 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
I like "rsync" too



OMG ME TOO! WHOSE YOU"RE FAVORITE?!?!

oh. wait. nevermind.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/24/14 08:05 AM

I'm going to go with buddy on the left. His hair looks like you could scrub pots with it and he looks like the least stoned of the group. So both cognitive and practical. It's all I ask for in a friend.

Thanks Chris!
First I downloaded rsync and a front end called "Lucky Backup" (Mostly because it reminded me of the Mr. Sparkle episode of the Simpsons, "For lucky best wash, use Mr. Sparkle."

It did everything I needed it to, including scheduling. However, I felt like if I used it,I was going to be made fun of by the big kids, so I took the morning to learn how to write a script and schedule a cron job.

There is something strangely satisfying, in a retro kind of way, about seeing all the commands and results fly by in a console screen. It's kind of like vinyl for computer geeks. The new way is easier but somehow the old way is more satisfying.

I figured I'd be bugging you for help on some of the finer points ,like the syntax on accessing my mounted Windows shared folders or something, but the Internet just makes stuff so easy now.

I even installed mail services so the cron job stopped complaining that it couldn't send me a completion notice.

Then I went snowshoeing for the afternoon. There is only so much basement time I can handle on a sunny day.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/24/14 11:50 AM

You'll probably want to figure out how to quiet down rsync, so you're only e-mailed when something goes wrong. When I first schedule a task, I will make sure it e-mails me the full details, just so I can see that it is working. I don't keep it that way for very long, because I've found that I just get into the habit of deleting the daily mail without really reading it. So if something were to go wrong, I'd probably miss it.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/24/14 01:51 PM

Agreed. Previously, I only did weekly backups. However, rsync is so freaking fast once the initial bulk run has been done, that I figured I might as well do it nightly.
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/26/14 12:37 PM

When doing your backup, be sure to go "beep...beep...beep" until completed
Posted by: Murph

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/27/14 01:10 PM

Finally some technical help in this thread that makes some sense!!
Thanks Ray.

I also make a "whapooof" kind of noise every time I close a window and it disintegrates with a fire effect on the screen. My second favorite thing in Ubuntu.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Linux Backup help - 03/27/14 01:16 PM

The only effects I used were the cube desktop, and the jelly windows when dragging. When people saw me switch apps, with each one running in its own face of the cube, they'd almost be ready to switch to Linux just to get that.

Now I run boring old Unity, though still with four desktops, and they do a sliding effect when switching, but no where near as cool as a cube.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Linux Backup help - 04/01/14 07:45 AM

By "boring old Unity" do you mean an older version?

I'm running Unity 12.04 and the cube runs just fine if you install Compiz.

I can't stand using my work laptop without it anymore. I keep trying to flip to another cube face before I realize I'm back in 'boring old Windows'.

My DSL modem took a hit yesterday during all the power bumps from the ice storm so I couldn't work and played with P.I.N.G. "PartImage Is Not Ghost" and now have a full bootable image of my OS hard drive along with my regular data backup. I'm feeling pretty secure now.

Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Linux Backup help - 04/01/14 09:59 AM

I mean I didn't do any fancy compizzing, just took the boring old default.

I don't really miss it. I have a web browser, an e-mail client, and a multi-tabbed console (with Solarized (light) theme) on 3 of the 4 desktops. I keep the 4th open for miscellaneous stuff. Clicking on any of the icons for those three programs slides between their desktops. That's all I need to do my job.