[plug] Current state / method / best programs to backup home desktop Ubuntu 13.04

Brad Campbell brad at fnarfbargle.com
Tue Aug 13 11:00:52 UTC 2013

On 13/08/13 12:11, Shanon Loughton wrote:
> Brad thanks for the offer, Id love you to help setup my backup system,
> thanks!

Ok, Shannon. Let's make this a public process.

I've done this quite a few times for myself, but it has recently been 
pointed out to me that things I take for granted and feel are obvious, 
are not necessarily so for other people. Therefore I don't tend to run a 
process, I just jump from the question to the answer. If we make this a 
process, you are more likely to get what you need rather than what I 
blindly assume will work best (ie, what I know). Plus, doing it this way 
will give us (you and I) both the opportunity to learn from those that 
know this stuff better than we do.

Lets start with what we know you have.
A) A machine with Ubuntu 13.04 on it.

How is the disk set up? For example, a df -h on my desktop gives me :

brad at bkmac:~/config$ df -h
Filesystem            Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb5              55G   30G   23G  57% /
none                  7.9G  4.8M  7.9G   1% /dev
none                  7.9G   30M  7.8G   1% /tmp
none                  1.6G  128K  1.6G   1% /run
none                  5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                  7.9G  112K  7.9G   1% /run/shm
srv:/s/work           550G  314G  209G  61% /media/work
srv:/s/src             19T   13T  5.3T  72% /media/src
/dev/mapper/home      459G  150G  287G  35% /home

Root is on sdb5 (bootcamp on an iMac). home is on /dev/mapper/home which 
in reality is a LUKS encrypted volume sitting on /dev/sda1 (which is a 
500GB SSD that is double-sided taped in the back of the iMac).

So when I back up, I back up / & home separately.

What do you plan to back up to? I backup to a WD mybook live which is 
running Debian and has a LUKS encrypted data volume.

I've also been known to back up to arbitrary machines over nfs, or USB 
hard disks.

Given you want a full snapshot (at least one) your backup drive needs at 
*least* as much storage as the machine you are backing up.

I backup my desktop, laptop, 2 co-lo boxes, a VDS, the root, home & 
business partitions of my server and a separate backup of all my VM's in 
under 2TB. My WD mybook has 60 days of rotating backups with plenty of 
space to spare. The media backups happen manually to a second machine 
that is basically a box of disks chained together and don't feature in 
any of this.

Backup bandwidth is a real issue if you change big stuff daily, and also 
for the first backup. Because the mybook is encrypted and does not have 
hardware acceleration, I can get at best about 6MB/s into it. As long as 
I'm not backing up 30G virtual disk files, I can get all my backups done 
in less than a couple of hours at night.

USB backups suffer the same bandwidth limitations (although I believe 
USB3 is supposed to be a bit better).

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