Home network backups with BackupPC
BackupPC is an open source backup project that allows you to back up a range of OSs to a network server, which I've recently installed both at home and professionally. It has a number of attributes which make it a very attractive system to use:
- It's available as a debian package in the "testing" distribution (package backuppc).
- It requires no client software on Windows systems, and works with everything from (at least) 98 onwards.
- The provided documentation is pretty good.
- Minimal configuration or intervention is required.
- It will also back up unix systems (eg Mac OSX) or anything that can support rsync/rsyncd/ssh.
- It warns users of problems with backups.
- In the main, it Just Works™.
Because of this last point, there's not really a great deal of helpful hints or tricks to get it working that I can offer - you're not likely to need them.
However, a couple of points:
- Make sure that your /var/lib partition has plenty of space to store the backups! To do this I installed new drives in the servers I used - a 250GB one at work and a 120GB one at home. To use anything over 137GB under debian you'll need either a 2.6 kernel or "sarge" install disks, and modern hardware. I don't have the required hadware at home, hence the smaller drive.
- While the documentation suggests that rsyncd needs a patch, the rsycnd that fink installs on OSX works fine. As my powerbook's usually turned off I just run it manually, with "
sudo rsync --daemon --no-detach -v" (although you'll need to configure it first).
Fink is apt-get for OSX - if you're a unix geek using this OS, get it! (There's a bit of a trick to getting X11 to work with it though - I'll write that up here at a later date).
- BackupPC doesn't seem to find new files in the root of a Samba share on incremental backups - I'll investigate this and possibly post a bug later - but just manually running a full backup can do the job.