My Backup Setup

Mostly my "backup" in the past has been putting everything into an offsite subversion repository. This works, but there are always things that I don't have saved that ends up being important and I don't normally save my large images.
On occasion, I'll also make copies to DVD (in sets like "pictures") and that works fairly well too, but I don't do it often enough.
I've wanted to setup a a real backup setup like provided with bacula, which is very complete and has a great name and subtitle ("It comes by night and sucks the vital essence from your computers."). Under Ubuntu is installs quite easily but getting it setup is quite daunting, it's more for a company wide backup solution. I like the fact that it's written in Python and that it can properly backup even Windows machines, by installing a small program on each machine. But in the end, after reading the whole manual, I never got it setup.
I just installed a new drive which was perfect for doing backups. I tried using the new "Gnome Simple Backup" which worked OK, but took a very long time and used 100% of my CPU while doing it.
To make a long story short, I'm now using rdiff-backup, here's why:
  • It written in Python (always a plus IMO).
  • It uses rsync a powerful, solid and efficient way to copy things from A to B.
  • It doesn't take long to copy and doesn't use a 100% of my CPU doing it.
  • The most recent backup is stored normally (no compression, no encryption, just copied). This is handy, I can have my music and pictures stored on my machine and back it up to my media center and play them there if I wish. I can also diff my current version with the backup without having to restore the backup first.
  • Older versions and deleted files can be recovered easily.
  • Using it is simple, mine's a one liner:
sudo rdiff-backup --include-globbing-filelist backup-list.txt / /big/backup/scott
Where /big is my 500 Gig drive. The backup-list.txt is just:
- /opt
- /sbin
- /bin
- /media
- /mnt
- /lib
- /proc
- /sys
- /var/cache
- /tmp
- /dev
- /var/tmp
- /


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