Friday, September 19, 2008

Simple Backups for your Mac

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Dan said...

That's pretty good. On linux (and I think they'd both work on a mac) I actually use two backup solutions, which may seem like (and be!) overkill, but they're automated so cause me no hassle. The first is to a local usb disk, inspired by jwz. This one is good b/c if my disk crashes, I can just plug in the USB drive and boot from my last backup image.

The second is using duplicity. It uses rsync under the hood, I think. The nice thing is that it automatically handles incremental vs. full backups and, further, uses gpg to encrypt the remote images.

I only backup critical data I'd be sad to lose with duplicity because it has to transfer over the network. I keep a month's worth of backups (full once per week). It has saved me a couple of times.

The USB drive backup is a full backup of my root & boot partitions every night and has no history. I've only needed it once and boy was I stoked that I had it when I did!

To extend your rsync strategy, I think you could use --link-dest to do a sort of pseudo-incremental backup without using much more diskspace on the remote side, no?

Jon Moore said...


Sounds like a great solution. I went with simple rsync mirroring for two main reasons: (a) don't think I need the incremental backups; rsync already optimizes to just send diffs, and I'm ok with only having the latest version; and (b) I didn't feel like writing out the script logic to manage the incrementals. :)