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Help with a backup solution



6:13 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi all,

I have an idea for a backup solution, just like to see if it would actually work.

Ideally I'd like to use my 2nd HDD as a full drive backup incase the 1st HDD dies. Then the 2nd one can replace the 1st.

So I was thinking if I first do a full drive clone to my 2nd HDD, then use rsync to keep it updated.

my 1st drive looks like this
/dev/sda5    7.8G 917M 6.5G 13% /
/dev/sda8 645G 1.4G 611G 1% /home
/dev/sda6 996M 35M 910M 4% /tmp
/dev/sda3 7.8G 3.9G 3.6G 52% /usr
/dev/sda2 9.7G 431M 8.8G 5% /var
/dev/sda1 122M 18M 98M 16% /boot
tmpfs 1.9G 0 1.9G 0% /dev/shm

If I have cloned the 2nd hdd, would I then mount it as /backup ?
I'm kind of confused, could I have /backup/home, /backup/tmp, /backup/usr etc...

Each of these would link to its respective partition on the backup drive.

Does that make any sense :P ? Anyone have any ideas good/bad about this concept?

Thank you


4:55 am on Sep 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

You can use rsync and a perl script to keep rotating snapshots with minimal duplication.

You can use rsync for the initial copy as well.

I would also suggest using a USB external drive. That way you will not have both drives corrupted by a bad controller, or simultaneously trashed by a power surge or motherboard fault.

This is what I do, and I also do a network backup. I use the grsync GUI front end for rsync for both.


10:55 pm on Sep 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the reply!

Would I need to keep all those partitions in sync? Or just perhaps /home, /usr, /var ?



6:31 am on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Depends on your requirements.

For desktop use I only keep /home in sync. For a server you might want to keep other directories in sync as well. Where is your (valuable) data? Do you have time to do a re-install to recover, or do you need to be able to swap drives and keep going?

I only do this for desktop use so I cannot confirm how well it works if your requirements are more extensive,


7:25 am on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Its actually for a server, I'd like to be able to simply replace the drive and continue on.


8:58 am on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It should work AFAIK, but you can probably find articles on this on the net, and relevant threads on the rsync list archice.


11:23 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

On my server I have two internal SATA drives, the first is partitioned and takes the operating system and primary copy of my work which is mount as work. I then formatted the second drive and mounted it as backup. Crontab then runs a backup script each night to ensure that I have a backup for everyday of the week therefore I have 7 days to realise a mistake.

In addition, I also have a LACIE USB hard-drive which acts as a removable copy which I can take off-site. The backup script e-mails me each morning to tell me if the backups were successful so that I can address any issues, the most common is that the LACIE has been powered down for one reason or another.

Although there is no way to remain 100% covered for everything I find the best policy is to change the drives in my server every 3 years or if any signs of bad sectors start appearing.


7:06 am on Sep 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

@Jamier101, do you use SMART disk monitoring? I just started when I realised that everything is pre-installed or in the repos - even nice GUIs to do it with on desktops.

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