Best local backup program for upload to cloud?

Basil Fernie basil at
Mon Dec 8 09:34:04 UTC 2014

In the Very Good, Very Old days when I used to personally build, sell,  
install and maintain my own line of desktop PCs (a mere sideline to my  
core business of writing and selling my own cost-control software for the  
construction industry) there was a very mean company called-but-not-named  
M$ that forced a horrible 16-bit operating system named MS-DOS onto almost  
all PC manufacturers in a way that was surely illegal, certainly immoral.  
It did not match any of my standards - ethical, functional, quality or  
economic - and I was delighted to discover an alternative named DR-DOS,  
 from the Digital Research company that had provided the CP/M that  
controlled so many 8-bit micros. It met all of my standards, and after  
that I never sold a PC with MS-DOS preloaded. Just one example of its  
superiority: a command called xcopy (eXtended COPY), which did everything  
the M$ dupes wished "copy" could do but were forced to turn to Norton  
Utilities or similar to perform. It took many years before M$'s miserable  
"copy" came anywhere near.

To do a backup with xcopy was simplicity itself because of the  
command-line parameters that were available, documented clearly and  
on-line in less than 1 Hercules 25-line screen. For 10 years or more that  
was all I needed for shifting HDUs-full of files and directories around  
with a single command.

Xcopy failed to be updated for a 32-bit, let alone 64-bit, world and  
became less and less useful because of its addressing inadequacies. I  
moved to OS/2, and found command-line and graphical utilities that worked  
quite intuitively and effectively. OS/2 was great, although poisoned in  
the marketplace by the Evil Empire. Eventually I could resist the Win32  
pressure no longer, and transferred to Window 2000 Server, a fine but  
flawed piece of work. Graduated eventually to Win7, all the while keeping  
an eye on Linux to see if it was desktop-ready yet. With inexpensive 3G  
modems joining sort-of-usable printing via CUPS, I moved slowly into  
OpenSuSE, then 'buntus, and am now pretty well settled with Lubuntu and  
other Debian derivatives. (And I dabble with a wide variety of other  
distros. Distrowatch is a dangerous site!)

And I have not found a single simple way to do the simple thing that was  
the mainstay of my file management, for myself and my hundreds of clients,  
for more than 2 decades. Oh, I know that in 'nix a file is a much more  
complex thing than we DOSsers every imagined. Oh yes, I speed-read  last night, looking for useful hints, all 18627 lines, of  
which almost 3000 lines are of index for, pardon me, important concepts  
which presumably you should be familiar with before you can select out the  
half-dozen you actually want to use. A 3000-concept learning-curve before  
you can decide whether and how to use   cp  (after reading at a guess 7  
times as many screens for man cp as for the very-effective help-option for  
xcopy), cpio  or  backup? OK, I guess, if you want to become sysadmin for  
a university. But guess what: our DR-DOS tools managed to hide the  
potential complexity from us hillbillies very successfully 99.9999% of the  
time. Why should we expect anything inferior from Linux, and to be even  
more direct, Ubuntu setting its sights on the common users of a wide range  
of platforms? Yet more so, Lubuntu which is spreading the domain of Ubuntu  
even wider?

At least I learned that what I thought I wanted to do and I gather you  
want to do, i.e. to make backups, is not what Linux thinks I want to do.  
Nor is a Linux archive what I want to make, although it could be twisted  
to get halfway there. And  cp  may non-obviously be pressed into the  
next-door county, but getting it across the border into mine will probably  
require writing a shell-script.

I thought about that for maybe 30 seconds (haven't tried bash or Python,  
my language of choice is C followed by C++) while I opened up a terminal  
and typed "man fc" and nothing was found. Meaning, I think, that there's  
an acronym open for implementation of a user-developed command (File  
Compare - yes, I know you can get  cp  to do this) which will be  
parametrisable to follow up the comparison (after user intervention, if  
needed, in dubious cases) with whatever backup/archiving process has been  
pre-planned. May as well put the research done to good use. Maybe it could  
even become feasible to pipe stuff through an interface to your favorite  

Last remark: why don't Linux packagers like acronyms for naming utilities?  
(Copy Phile???!!! Goes off muttering to himself...)

All the best for your search, but remember Linux has a different take on  

Basil Fernie

On Fri, 05 Dec 2014 00:03:37 +0200, John Hupp <lubuntu at>  

> I'm still working on a solution for the problems I raised in the thread  
> "A survey of GUI-based free online >backup."
> I have swung this way and that looking for the best approach.  Time and  
> again, I have found something that is >promising in one regard but  
> undesirable in another.
> Here is where I am right now.
> Using Opera's mail client:
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