5 Easy Backup Solutions for Linux
Photo by Daniel Montesinos
Be it noobs or a geeks - computers are indispensable for either of the clans. With the trend of increasingly high storage devices - both USB and otherwise, the amount of data which resides in the form of nibbles and bits is enormous. Backing up your data is of prime importance from work/business point of view.
A lot of people lose their data due to system crashes which is very likely over a long run. This indicates that backing up your files is crucial. We have evangelized Linux to a good extent in our previous articles and we've shown our love to FOSS. Continuing to showcase our strong feelings for alternative Operating Systems and applications, we hereby present a few Linux backup solutions which shall help you save and recover your data periodically.
# rsync: We've already introduced this amazing tool in one of our earlier articles. A Linux user/administrator can generate customized rsync scripts to handle incremental backups automatically on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule. rsync is pretty similar to rcp but comes bundled with a lot more options. It uses the rsync remote-update protocol to speed up file transfers while the destination file is being updated. The rsync remote-update protocol allows rsync to transfer just the differences between two sets of files across the network connection, using an efficient checksum-search algorithm described in the technical report that accompanies this package.
# AMANDA: It's an acronym for Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver, a backup system which allows the administrator to set up a single master backup server to back up several hosts over a network to disks/tape drives/changers/optical media. It uses native dump along with GNU tar facilities. It is capable in backing up a large number of workstations running multiple versions of Unix. Amanda can also back up Microsoft Windows desktops and servers using Samba or Cygwin.
# Mondo Rescue: It's yet another GPL disaster recovery solution which supports Linux (i386, x86_64, ia64) and FreeBSD (i386). It's packaged for multiple distributions (RedHat, RHEL, SuSE, SLES, Mandriva, Debian, Gentoo) and help you back up your GNU/Linux server or workstation to a lo of media options like tapes, hard disks, network or optical disks. In case of catastrophic data loss, you shall be able to restore your data selectively. You may use Mondo Rescue to create backups of your system on DVDs, periodically. Mondo Rescue also has an active mailing list for novice as well as pro users.
# Bacula: It is a Client/Server based backup suite which allows the system administrators to manage backup, recovery. It also helps verify the data across a network. Owing to its modular design, Bacula is scalable from a single computer system to systems which form a part of a large network. Bacula is capable of backingup data on to various media, including tapes and disks. However, Bacula is quite complex for a newbie and has a huge 750 page manual to help ou gear up. I've been in touch with a few users and they their kind advice is to read the manual before you jump into it. On the positive side, it seems like it is easily the best way to keep a distributed backup system.
# Simple Backup Suite: Now if you're a home user and run Gnome as your choice of desktop environment, Simple Backup Suite, or sbackup for short is a god choice. Simple Backup Suite is intended for desktop use and can backup any subset of files/directories. You can also define exclusions by regular expressions. Maximum individual file size limit can also be defined from within the interface. To save the backup, you may use any local/remote directories which are supported by gnome-vfs. It also have a cool Gnome GUI interface for configure and restore. Check out the community page to get it in and out!
These were few of the most compelling backup options you would like to use at some point of time. If you have more suggestions, make sure you follow up via the comments section of this post. More about adapting to GNU/Linux and Open Source, very soon! Stay tuned.