5 Easy Backup Solutions for Linux

Backup your data

Photo by Daniel Montesinos

Back-upI wish i could have the data backed up as easily!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Thinking about career in Linux? Part 2

Career in Linux

Photo by Corsanet

Looking for a JobCareer in Linux has flavors too!

In our previous article – Thinking about career in Linux? Part 1, we saw some of the prerequisites which shall help you build a career in Linux, or the Open Source technology. As promised, we move on from where we took a pause, to discuss some more tools/applications which fall under the same category.


Perl: It is one of the best known scripting languages for system management tasks. It is optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from them, and printing reports based on that. Perl is known to be easy to use, efficient, and complete within itself. Several administration tasks can be completed with less pain and trouble with the advent of Perl scripts. Being a Linux admin, you may have to use this feature of Perl to master your network and system upgradation processes.

You may prefer reading the Perl manual, for that matter.

PHP: PHP is a recursive acronym for ‘PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.‘ This again is a widely-used Open Source general-purpose scripting language with special inclination towards Web development paradigm. It can be easily embedded into HTML and hence widely used. Having a good hands-on over PHP, Apache and MySQL is essential to get your favorite Linux job.

Lookout for the PHP documentation.

PostfixPostfix: It is a mail transfer agent (MTA) used on Linux analogous to Sendmail and Qmail. It is known to handle the routing and delivery of emails. If you’re handling a Linux network, particularly a mail server, you need to have a knowledge about this very MTA. You must master the art of configuring postfix main.cf and master.cf files along with troubleshooting other postfix errors.

Checkout the Postfix official documentation.

rsync: It is a powerful tool to greatly speed up file transfers when the destination file is being updated. Rsync uses uses a remote-update protocol which basically copies only the difference of files that have been changed. It is a great tool for backing up files to another Linux host. An aspirant should atleast be aware of the syntax used with rsync to copy files to another host machine.

A detailed documentation and a tips-and-tricks page shall add to your knowledge.

SambaSamba: I’m sure you would have probably come across this name while working on Linux and reading articles over the web. The Samba software suite is a collection of programs which implement the Server Message Block(SMB) protocol for *NIX systems. This protocol is often referred as the Common Internet File System or CIFS. A lot of companies which run over a Linux based environment use Samba to share files across the network. As Linux career enthusiast, you should master Samba to perfection. The preliminaries include – installing and configuring Samba server, adding and maintaining users, setting up Samba shares, et al.

You shall have a read to this manual on Samba.

SCP: It helps copy files between hosts within a network. It uses ssh for data transfer with same authentication and security as ssh. scp asks for pass-phrases if they are needed for authentication. One needs to know scp if he/she needs to copy files between Linux hosts over a public or private network with security concerns.

A scp manual is here for reference.

This list is however never-ending. I have tried to cover the minuscule number applications which I believe one must be familiar with if he/she is eying on a Linux job. One may not use all of the tools/applications mentioned in this article on daily basis, but these are some of the widely used applications in Linux administration and related Linux jobs.

We shall acknowledge an addition to this list via your comments. Wishing you a great career in Linux!