This little tutorial will show you a simple solution to backup your Linux desktop machine.
Backups are necessary for saving your data. No matter if your disk crashes or your accidentally deleted some files, having a backup in one of those situations will definitely limit the caused damage.
For my home Linux box I chose “Back in Time”, a very simple tool which comes along with a nice GUI for both Gnome and KDE desktop systems.
More information about this software can be found here: http://backintime.le-web.org
Installing the packages
I assume you run Ubuntu on your home box but in fact almost any Linux will do it.
Open a shell and type in:
sudo apt-get install backintime-common backintime-gnome
Running Back in Time
Now select Back In Time from your applications menu (e.g. Applications -> System Tools).
A little GUI will pop up. With viewing the “settings” tab you can check the preferences and make some adjustments. The most important thing is that you select what stuff gets backed up and of course the location of the snapshots.
Then just hit the “Backup” button and create your first snapshot.
How does it work?
Back In Time is “just” a GUI which is based on rsync, diff and cp (make hardlinks).
Back In Time acts as a “user mode” backup system. This means that you can backup/restore onlyfolders you have write access to (actually you can backup read-only folders, but you can’trestore them).A new snapshot is created only if something changed since the last snapshot (if any).A snapshot contains all the files from the selected directories (except for excludepatterns).In order to reduce disk space it use hard-links (if possible) between snapshots forunchanged files. This way a file of 10Mb, unchanged for 10 snapshots, will useonly 10Mb on the disk.When you restore a file ‘A’, if it already exists on the file system it will be renamed to‘A.backup.<current data>’.For automatic backup it use “cron” so there is no need for a daemon, but “cron” must berunning.Starting from version 0.9.24 permissions and user/group are stored in a special file.This way you can even save/restore files from a NTFS/FAT drive without losing thisinformations (NOTE: FAT don’t support hard-links).
(Taken from the website.)
Never ever store the snapshots on the same hard drive where your data comes from. What is your backup good for when your hard drive crashes?