Backup utility in linux

Jewel ejewel at
Mon Jul 11 06:30:43 UTC 2005

On 7/10/05, Ante Karamatić <ivoks at> wrote:
> > Allow output to a log file
> >      - Have an option to make your program create a log file like "/
> > path/to/backup.log".  The following would be useful in the log:
> OK. There will be logs... I could even backup it.

More than just keeping a log file, it should be integrated into the
system.  Consider this use case:

Penelope discovers that she saved over a document that contained a
book she was writing.  However, she has been faithfully running the
"backup utility" and backing up the home folders.  She starts up the
backup utility, clicks restore, and a list of all files that the
backup system is aware of is presented her.  She finds her file for
the most recent date and selects it for restore.  She continues
writing her book.

The UI would have to be simple, since, after all, this is just meant
for a typical desktop user.

> >          - An MD5 checksum of BOTH the original folder(s)/file(s) AND
> > the backup itself.
> Hehe I could check MD5 of archive on the stored medium and MD5 of temp.
> archive. I don't plan to put files and dirs on medium. Only one single
> archive in .tar.bz2 format.

If the backup is made to a CD, DVD, or removable device it would
probably make more sense not to make it a .tar file, simply because
they could then read the backup on a windows machine without trouble. 
A .tar.gz or .bz2 file would make more sense if they want (or the
program detects that they need) compression.

Some additional features for your consideration:

* Back up via ftp, webdav, scp or smb to a remote server
* Back up to an e-mail account
* Make the back up run at a certain time (via atd) or run regularly (via crond)
* Back up the current state of installed packages (i.e. synaptic)

I'm not sure it's necessary to back up all of /etc since a power user
(someone who edits /etc) probably wouldn't be using a program like
this.  Maybe a good solution would be to use the md5sum from dpkg to
determine which files in /etc have been changed and back them up.

Just throwing out ideas, of course.  Sounds like something a lot of
people could use.


P.S.  I found this in the wiki, I'm not sure if it's relevant:

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