Backing Up Everything to Removable Disks

Jessie A. Morris jessie at
Mon Feb 25 16:29:12 MST 2013

On my desktop right now I have an encrypted 3TB Seagate External drive that I use for backups. I have BackInTime installed (similar to TimeMachine on Macs). I have it set up to backup once an hour. It saves all backups in the past two weeks, one backup a week for the last 8 weeks, one backup a month for the past 12 months, and one backup per year forever.

It uses rsync on the backend and It Just Works™.

Jessie A. Morris
jessie at

On Monday, February 25, 2013 16:26:03 Alan Evans wrote:
> I used to use cron and rsync.
> The --copy-dest --link-dest options allow for some really really
> interesting options.
> rsync --copy-dest /path/to/dailybackup server:/ /path/to/fullbackup
> rsync --compare-dest /path/to/fullbackup server:/ /path/to/dailybackup
> copy-dest/compare-dest options allow you to compare against a third
> location and copy/link to it appropriately.
> So for above the copy dest says copy from the most recent daily and
> the source server to /path/to/fullbackup.
> The compare-dest then said look at this directory and the source
> server and only copy files not in either.  If there are deltas it uses
> the local compare-dest to source the file.
> The result was a weekly full backup and a daily incremental backup.
> I backed up NetWare servers over 768k links like this for years.  It
> took FOREVER for the first backups to occur but once I got the first
> full done the dailies and subsequent weeklies took < 1-2 hrs.
> After getting the files to disk I put them on tape and I was in a
> situation like you where my backups spanned multiple tapes so I copied
> each weekly to tape which took 2 days but since I could run it during
> the day it didn't matter.  Then each subsequent daily went on a single
> tape each day.
> I had two tape drives, an LTO-2 for the weeklies and an LTO-1 that I
> ran the dailies to.  I just used BackupExec to do those one day after
> their corresponding cron jobs.  The weekly took 2 days to put on tape
> but since once rsync was done the files were just sitting there on the
> disk it didn't matter.  I would pop a tape in Friday, Monday
> BackupExec would start copying the fulls to tape.  Some time Monday
> night it would ask for another tape which I would insert Tuesday.  The
> full finished Tuesday before I left which meant I could take them off
> site.
> -Alan
> On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM, Jessie A. Morris
> <jessie at> wrote:
> > Bacula also allows for backing up to files or directories. I currently have this set up and life is good. I would give a hearty recommendation to Bacula.
> > --
> > Jessie A. Morris
> > 801-210-1526
> > jessie at
> >
> > On Monday, February 25, 2013 15:56:23 Tod Hansmann wrote:
> >> I'm looking at replacing work's current tape backup system.  Currently,
> >> this is a poblem where we're using tapes of a certain size, and we're
> >> maxing out that size so it's spilling over to two tapes, which is messing
> >> up rotations.  Getting bigger tapes in this instance requires upgrading the
> >> tape system, which is ridiculously expensive.  So, disk storage being cheap
> >> as all get, and easy to implement (physically anyway), I figured I'd look
> >> at that direction.
> >>
> >> We have Windows servers and a lot more Linux servers to backup bits from.
> >> Every piece of software I've looked at sucks, and very few of them want to
> >> do DAS targets.  DAS would probably make managing the drives for swapping
> >> out easier, but that's just my opinion.  Not to mention, all the software I
> >> have found is also rather expensive for managing the copying of files.  I'd
> >> pay a few hundred for something, but everything I've found either doesn't
> >> do DAS (online is the new thing, unless you have TBs of data to backup and
> >> can't do that online) or kills you in all the "agents" licenses they'd need.
> >>
> >> What have you seen that isn't crap and will backup to a local disk I can
> >> then swap out like a tape?  Also, Amanda is cool, but I can't seem to find
> >> any docs about DAS as a target.  The enterprise zmanda does, but Amanda
> >> seems fairly limited.  I might mess with it if someone has better
> >> experience than my VERY limited exposure.
> >>
> >> (As an aside, seriously, backup software sucks, especially in the restore
> >> area.  What ever happened to backing up files and then just giving me a
> >> dialog to choose what files and what timeslice I wanted to restore them
> >> to?  Why is that so difficult for backup vendors to get?)
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >> -Tod Hansmann
> >>
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