Thibaut Wdowiak's Blog

Backup solutions for a Linux PC

13 Jun 2008 // geek

Which is the "best" backup solution for my laptop? That's what occupied my mind until very late last night. It seems like a very classical question, as old as the homo numericus. So you would assume that the answer as been disussed over and over and is now solved for good. Que nenni. Depending on the nature of the data, of the quality of service you expect, on the harware you have or you will buy, on the volume of your data, on your network, on the security policy you wish to comply with, on the interface you feel comfortable with, and so on..., well you might end up making a very personal decision. And that's what I did. Let me tell you how and why.  Once upon a time, an ordinary Linux user tried to use...

... The Backuppc server Backuppc is a server side backup script with a web frontend. The script periodically searches for pcs to backup on the network and when it finds one, it connects to it (via ssh for example) and runs rsync (but other options are available) from the pc to backup with the server as a destination.

First the drawbacks: you have to set up an account on your pc for backuppc to connect to it, you have to make it secure by using encryption keys. Then rsync execution over a wifi network takes forever. Plus, I am not really confident in rsync copying ALL my files properly. You don't really know how the files are stored on the server, so if you want to recover, you have to trust backuppc, and I don't like it. When it come to data backups, I want to know exactly what's what.

Advantages: If you test it properly, you can easily backup dozens of pcs. I only have one.

I trashed my backuppc setup lastly.

... The Cobian backup software (Windows only) Cobian backup is exactly what I want on linux. It is clear: the software is on the pc, it copies and possibly compresses files from one point to another, which can be a remote server. It is perfect to backup a single pc or various pcs assuming pc users are responsible for their backups.

Problem is I am a Linux person.

... The short Keep (kde) experience Keep is like Cobian, but for kde and not as fancy: it can't even connect to a remote server. Plus I often switch between kde and gnome when I upgrade my ubuntu system.

So Keep is not good either for me.

What now? A good old bash script!! Yes. That's the solution. Of course I would prefer a good software like Cobian that can run everywhere (such as keepass). But it seems one has to live without it. Anyway a script is portable, standard. So here's what I'll do: a bunch of scripts using tar, gzip, cron, time, sftp running on my pc. A sort of home made cobian.

Yapuka. Aka let's do it.