What is "best" truly depends upon your specific needs. For my home systems (one laptop and one desktop) I use the built in rsync command via a simple bash script to make backups to an external USB or Firewire harddrive. Don't panic... it sounds harder than it is. You will need an elementary knowledge on how to operate within a terminal, but again, what you will be doing here is really very easy.
Originally Posted by mac9416
Step 1: Create your bash script
- Open "Places --> Home Folder"
- Right-click in an empty area. Select "Create Folder"
- Name the newly created folder "bin" (no capital letters!)
- Open the the "bin" folder. Right click in an empty area. Choose "Create Document" and then "Empty File"
- Name the newly created empty file "backup"
- Open "backup" by double-clicking on it
- Copy the following code into the file
rsync -ap --delete-excluded --delete --progress --stats /home /media/USBDRIVE
- IMPORTANT! Change "USBDRIVE" to the path on your computer. You can easily determine this by plugging in your USB drive. When nautilus opens, simply click on the "paper & pencil" icon to the left of the media discription (just below the Tool Bar) to toggle the Location Bar to show the complete path.
- NOTE: You can limit the script to just backing up a single user rather than the entire "home" directory by changing "/home" to "/home/USER" (of course, changing USER to the correct user name).
- NOTE: You can also exclude certain directories and/or file types using an exclude file. That, however, complicates things a bit and is beyond the scope of this post.
Step 2: Make Executable and Run
- After you have saved and closed the file you just created, right click on its icon.
- Choose "Properties" (at the bottom of the pop-up menu).
- Now, at the top of the "Properties" dialog, click on the "Permissions" tab
- Find "Execute" and then click on the check box to "Allow executing file as program"
- Click "Close" at the bottom right of the Properties dialog
- Close remaining open windows. Unmount and remove any usb drives.
- Press simultaneously "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" to restart gnome (if you don't do this, your newly created "bin" directory will not be in your path -- you WANT this directory in your path)
- When you log back into gnome attach the external drive that you want to use for backing up your home directory.
- Open a terminal (Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal)
- Type "backup"
- After awhile, your entire home directory will be mirrored to your external USB harddrive.
This method is only for mirroring your home directory. Don't try to use it on your "root" directory (/).
DISCLAIMER: This "Works for Me." Your Mileage May Vary. No Warranties. If this script breaks anything, you get to keep all the pieces.