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Thread: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

  1. #1
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    Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    128gb usb flash drive full install (the internal is dead)
    2-6gb swap area
    4gb RAM

    Which backup strategy is best?
    At first I thought scripting would be sufficient, but now I think scripting isn't enough.

    Photo's, music, Household Records, etc are already backed up (stored on a different usb and on a different laptop)
    I need to be doing backups weekly or daily.
    These backups need to include the other important files and also customizations and stuff.

    I'm thinking I need to have no less than 3 backup files and the most recent backup replaces the oldest backup.
    I probably should keep closer to 8 or 10 backup files.

    Timeshift, ZFS, CloneZilla, etc.
    I need something light weight and low-resource use, that backs up more than just my stuff and able to produce backup files that aren't "married" to the CLI/GUI being used.

  2. #2
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  3. #3
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    wyattwhiteeagle; Hello

    My personal take on backups is: "why backup system files, as these are on the install media" ?

    I only backup ( three places) my personal data with the rsync tool:
    for an instance to a USB drive:
    Code:
    rsync -aiv --exclude=".*" --exclude uwn /home/sysop/ /media/sysop/store/
    where I back up my /home.

    I also keep a changelog of any changes I make to the default install.

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

    Happy ubuntu'n !

  4. #4
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    wyattwhiteeagle; Hello

    My personal take on backups is: "why backup system files, as these are on the install media" ?
    Good point

    I only backup ( three places) my personal data with the rsync tool:
    for an instance to a USB drive:
    Code:
    rsync -aiv --exclude=".*" --exclude uwn /home/sysop/ /media/sysop/store/
    where I back up my /home.

    I also keep a changelog of any changes I make to the default install.
    KISS
    A few question's...

    Does it backup the user's customized setting's?

    Am I able to specify where the backups are NOT stored, but also where they ARE stored without manually moving the backups to those places?

    Is it possible to have the backup produce a changelog that look's somewhat like this...
    (Note: This is only an example. The applications and versions may or may not match any real scenario.)
    Lubuntu 20.04 LTS
    08-01-21 15:57

    Uninstalled...
    Norton..........3.2.1
    McAfee........4.3.2
    Quicken.......5.4.3

    Installed.......
    Thunderbird...3.2.1
    Stacer............4.3.2
    Bleachbit.......5.4.3

    Backup and Changelog stored at (with date in the file name for easy identification)...
    Place 1
    Place 2
    Place 3
    Last edited by wyattwhiteeagle; September 2nd, 2021 at 02:03 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    I'm guessing Oldfred's links to my prior posts likely cover everything. Modern backup tools aren't copies. They are differences (forward or backwards) in time. It doesn't take much storage to have 90 days of daily backups, so why would anyone settle for just 3? In 3 backups, you probably won't notice corrupted files or malware infected files.

    There are trade offs between the amount of storage used, the time and hassle it takes to get a clean backup and the complexity of the restore process. Please do some reading, see what makes sense to you, and ask some questions.

    There is no "best backups" - if you don't actually do them or if they are too much hassle. Backups that don't actually let you restore what you need are also failures. No backup is "good" until it is tested through a restore. It would be terrible to run backups for a year only to find that not all the stuff needed to restore was included. Had a client do that. Nobody had bothered to validate their backup processes could actually be restored. They ended up trying to restore data from each of their 100 different desktops because the server backup hadn't worked for over a year.

  6. #6
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    I'm guessing Oldfred's links to my prior posts likely cover everything. Modern backup tools aren't copies. They are differences (forward or backwards) in time. It doesn't take much storage to have 90 days of daily backups, so why would anyone settle for just 3? In 3 backups, you probably won't notice corrupted files or malware infected files.

    There are trade offs between the amount of storage used, the time and hassle it takes to get a clean backup and the complexity of the restore process. Please do some reading, see what makes sense to you, and ask some questions.

    There is no "best backups" - if you don't actually do them or if they are too much hassle. Backups that don't actually let you restore what you need are also failures. No backup is "good" until it is tested through a restore. It would be terrible to run backups for a year only to find that not all the stuff needed to restore was included. Had a client do that. Nobody had bothered to validate their backup processes could actually be restored. They ended up trying to restore data from each of their 100 different desktops because the server backup hadn't worked for over a year.
    TheFu, I admire your advice, and thank you for it all.

    Reading the above brings to my mind the thread I started about MyPaint.
    I was trying to find something that very closely resembles mspaint.exe in Windows. (both inside and out)
    Seems like the majority of tools that I was looking through resembles more to Paint.net rather than mspaint.exe.
    Including what is in the repositories.
    I got MyPaint installed through Wine on Ubuntu.
    It wouldn't install outside of Wine.
    That's as far as I got with MyPaint.
    Any time I tried to open it, I had all kinds of issue's.
    Any time I tried to uninstall it via CLI and GUI...I had more issue's and it was still on the system.
    Some who were trying to help me there, seemed as though they believed I wanted MyPaint.
    Why would I want something I can't use?

    Same goes for "a years worth of backups ending up not being as thorough or as reliable as the user had believed."
    So, yes...it is very crucial that the user validate and confirm that each backup is both thorough and reliable before they actually need it.
    I believe that process involves a "throw-away machine" that is used only for testing such things.
    Or other people's experiences.

    When I said "best" here, I meant what is best for my current system specs and hardware setup that I'm having to resort to.
    Most certainly I'm not the first to have encountered this particular scenario.
    Because of that, it seems that some people (not everybody, but only those who have actually gone through what I'm going through) are purposely being reluctant to share any ensight.

    Though this is important, I wasn't meaning it as in "What's best for the new user, or for the ease of use".

    It's almost like some people don't believe it is actually possible to install to a usb flashdrive the way I installed to it.
    Seems as though they are reverting to the belief that "That's not possible. He must be on a LiveUSB."
    That is until they see "real proof" from details layed out by Gparted.
    Of course, the "burden-of-proof" is on the person making the claims.

    After using MKUSB, I thought..."this looks and acts like a descending product put together by someone who wanted their own personal prototype of something original".

    Turns out, my thought was correct.
    I learned it was correct by looking at the "something else" option in Ubuntu's installation procedure.

    The installation procedure in both are very similar to each other.
    Last edited by wyattwhiteeagle; September 2nd, 2021 at 07:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    Additionally, no backup strategy is best. It depends on what sort of restores you want to be able to do. In computing there is rarely a single best solution for.... Anything.

  8. #8
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by ActionParsnip View Post
    Additionally, no backup strategy is best. It depends on what sort of restores you want to be able to do. In computing there is rarely a single best solution for.... Anything.
    Following the same as in contraceptions..."No single thing or practice is 100%".

    Even using a combination of things isn't 100%

    Here's the catch..."Something is better than nothing. More than one of those something's is better than only one something."

    I'm actually thinking of a "multi-strategy". A "Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and so forth"...as well as a "multi-tier strategy", "this tool, this script, etc."

    and eliminating those that don't work.
    Last edited by wyattwhiteeagle; September 2nd, 2021 at 07:38 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    Only backup your data, since there are copies of Linux at every university and ISP, you don't need to keep one too. Each time you reinstall Linux, it is easier and then you have the latest version. In general with Linux there are no license keys to safeguard, so saving program settings is usually not helpful either.

    As for your data, unless you are wealthy enough to have lots of storage, use a differential backup system. You can easily keep three versions of all changed files, for very little more space than a single version. It can be very simple: https://www.aeronetworks.ca/2019/08/...de-simple.html

  10. #10
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    Re: Backup, Backup, Backup...Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    simple rdiff backup script - TheFu
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....2#post13928432


    Re: Backup-Drive permissions/formatting --
    Backing up HOME directories is bonehead simple.
    a) use a real backup tool, not rsync or grsync.
    b) run it from a crontab - root is the account.
    c) when root runs a backup tool, permissions are handled. They will be retained automatically both when doing the backup and when restoring.
    d) Be certain to backup /etc/ and the list of manually installed packages too.


    Yes, using ext4 is a reasonable choice if you don't have any specific reason to use some other type.


    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    
    
    # Create the list of manually installed packages - use apt-mark showmanual and store that output somewhere that gets included in the backups.  I put it into /root/backups/
    /usr/bin/apt-mark showmanual > /root/backups/apt-mark.manual
    ######[ to restore pkgs ]#######
    ### sudo apt-mark manual $(cat apt-mark.manual)
    ### sudo apt-get -u dselect-upgrade
    
    
    ######
    # Clean up garbage inside all the HOME directories before doing the backup.  No need for cache or trash files, for example.
    
    
    # mount the backup disk as needed; best not to leave it mounted.
    /bin/mount /Backups
    
    
    # Ensure backups are by hostname, so multiple hosts can use the same backup storage
    mkdir  -p /Backups/$(hostname)
    
    
    # Run rdiff-backup  options sources  target
    /usr/bin/rdiff-backup  --exclude-special-files --include  /etc  --include /root   --include  /home  \
                                                --exclude '**'    /       /Backups/$(hostname)
    
    
    # Remove really old backup sets - say 90 days old.
    /usr/bin/rdiff-backup --force --remove-older-than 90D    /Backups/$(hostname)
    
    
    # umount the backup disk
    umount /Backups
    Simple. Put that into a file, make the permissions +x, then put that file /path/name into root's crontab to run daily.
    More rdiff-backup examples: http://rdiff-backup.nongnu.org/examples.html
    Ok, here is one area where I get confused about scripting...

    a) use a real backup tool, not rsync or grsync.
    Is Timeshift considered a "real" backup tool?

    b) run it from a crontab - root is the account.
    How exactly do I do that?

    d) Be certain to backup /etc/ and the list of manually installed packages too.
    Are these defined in the above script, or is it something that needs to be edited into the script?

    Clean up garbage inside all the HOME directories before doing the backup. No need for cache or trash files, for example.

    The script contains lines such as the above.
    Is that something I need to do, or does the terminal or whatever do those for me?

    Simple. Put that into a file, make the permissions +x, then put that file /path/name into root's crontab to run daily.
    Make the permissions +x...are you talking about making the file executable (ie, chmod 700, or similar)?

    How do I put that file /path/name into root's crontab?

    Does it automatically run or do I have to manually run it?
    Last edited by wyattwhiteeagle; September 2nd, 2021 at 11:35 AM.

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