Manual backups suck big time.

You will most likely forget to backup some files to an external location and all of this within an reliable interval.

Add to this my superb experience with Mac OS X™ and Time Machine™ at work, I wanted a similar solution for my Linux setup at home. Running Arch Linux, I consulted the excellent Arch Wiki and found something which catered to my exact needs: Full System Backup with rsync

I created the suggested backup.sh and made some changes to the suggested script file:

  • I added -H to preserve hardlinks found under /usr and the likes
  • I also added -S to handle sparse files (if encountered) in a sensible way
  • to finish up, I added some of the suggested directories to the exclude list

And that’s it.

I fired up the script against my backup drive mounted via iSCSI and let it run. Took about 90 minutes for the initial run and I found some big files I forgot to delete beforehand (I’m looking at you, pacman package cache!)

All that is needed now is creating a cronjob for running those backups on a regular basis without needed me to start the backup process.

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