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Thread: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

  1. #1
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    Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Running Ubuntu 18.04 on a new laptop...been having problems backing up to an external hard drive...have a Seagate 4TB and backup is extremely slow. I've never had a problem backing up with previous EHDs. What could be wrong? Searching online unfortunately gets little about backup and primarily information about putting Ubuntu on an external drive

  2. #2
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    wpwend42; Hey hey

    How about some info to work with ?

    What are the source and destination file systems ?
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -lu
    what means are you using to do that backup ?
    GUI, terminal cp or rsync ?

    garbage in == garbage out
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubuntu'n !

  3. #3
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    I'm using the GUI doing it manually dragging folders so they copy to the external drive.

  4. #4
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Is the external drive formatted as ext4? Using USB 3.0?
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:08 AM.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Backups on Unix systems need to be more than just the files/data. The permissions, ACLs, owner, group are critical for a successful restore.

    The file system used matters. Backing up Linux files to NTFS or exFAT or FAT-whatever will lose all that other metadata too.

    Also, if you backup files that are owned by other userids using a GUI, it is highly likely that the permissions, ACLs, owner and group will be totally lost. For files in a single user's HOME, it isn't a big deal. For files anywhere else, good luck. Best to use a real backup tool and run it using sudo with specific options that maintain not just the data, but also the other things.

    If you'd consider using a real backup tool, we'd like to help.

  6. #6
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Grsync is easy to use, and is in the repos.

    I drink my Ubuntu black, no sugar.
    Ubuntu user 28819

  7. #7
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    I'd suggest command line duplicity run as root so that it globally backs up all users. This is the script I've been using. Hasn't caused me issue yet.

    Code:
    if [[ "$USER" == root ]] ; then           
      for user in /home/* ; do
        BACKUPUSER=$(basename "$user")
        TARGETDIR="$POOLLOC"/backups/.googledrive/homebackups/"$BACKUPUSER"
        if ssh "$TARGETUSER"@"$SERVERFQDN" "[[ ! -d ${TARGETDIR} ]]" ; then
          ssh "$TARGETUSER"@"$SERVERFQDN" "mkdir -p ${TARGETDIR}"
        fi
        duplicity \
        --exclude-if-present .nobackup \
        --no-encryption \
        --full-if-older-than 1M \
        /data/"$BACKUPUSER" scp://"$TARGETUSER"@"$SERVERFQDN"/"$TARGETDIR"
        duplicity remove-all-but-n-full 4 --force \
        scp://"$TARGETUSER"@"$SERVERFQDN"/"$TARGETDIR"
      done
    fi
    I need to mod this to work with my ltsp setup to keep backing up to google drive.
    Last edited by Tadaen_Sylvermane; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Duplicity has the bonus of storing the data and metadata as part of the backups. The target file system isn't too important, provided the chunked backup files aren't larger than it can support. Duplicity, when working as designed, checks all the boxes for an excellent backup tool.

    There are downsides for duplicity, however.

    Some others to consider:
    * borg backup
    * rsnapshot
    * rdiff-backup <---- I use this.
    * restic
    there must be 50 others. Each as limitations and caveats, so don't just assume they will work for your needs, on your system, on your storage, blindly.

    OTOH, having solid, working, automatic, versioned backups, that can be restored is a great thing. Let's me sleep very well at night.
    Last edited by TheFu; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    Is the external drive formatted as ext4? Using USB 3.0?
    The external HD is formatted as NTFS.

  10. #10
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    Re: Problems Backing Up To External Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by wpwend42 View Post
    The external HD is formatted as NTFS.
    That probably reduces the throughput about 20-30% and means that rsync isn't a suitable backup since owner, group, permissions and ACLs will be lost. Manually copying files has this same issue.

    If you can't or are unwilling to change to a native Linux file system, duplicity is really the only backup tool option, unless you go with file system images, like fsarchiver or ddrescue can make. Also, enabling big_writes on the mount options should help with performance. The ntfs mount manpage explains more.

    IMHO.
    Last edited by TheFu; 1 Week Ago at 10:58 PM.

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