GUI backup tools (was Re: Destroying "only" your home directory)

Derek Broughton news at
Wed Apr 5 15:41:15 UTC 2006

Michael T. Richter wrote:

> On Wed, 2006-05-04 at 15:49 +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
>> Somehow it seems this discussion just continues and continues without
>> getting anywhere because people ignore what is being said. I gave you
>> this link days ago, which exactly addresses the issue:
> I already addressed the wholly inadequate nature of that "solution" a
> few days ago.  Here's the executive summary:
> 1.  It sucks.  ;)
> OK, seriously, here's the real summary:
> 1.  It doesn't seem to be specced out with anything like
> full/differential/incremental/et al backups.

That's not what I saw when I read it.  It clearly intends to offer full &
incremental backup.

> 2.  It seems to require a whole lot of user intervention for what should
> be mostly automated.

Again, that's not what I saw.  What I saw was a whole lot of default
hand-holding, with the ability to turn it off.

> 3.  It doesn't seem to have browsing the backups for restoration so that
> users don't have to fumble around with potentially dozens of disks to
> find the right version of their files.

That is true.

> 4.  It doesn't seem to support anything resembling system backups (or at
> the very least system configuration backups).  While the former isn't
> absolutely necessary, the latter pretty much is.

It _doesn't_ intend to do system backups, but yes configuration backups are
necessary.  While it doesn't explicitly say that /etc/ will be backed up,
in discussion at bottom it becomes clear that it's intended. 
> In short, it's a typical geek's view of what an end-user wants.  This

It's a _wiki_.  If you don't like it, fix it!

> despite the proliferation of sophisticated, end user-oriented backup
> applications that could be looked at as a model.

>> Nobody from the Ubuntu team denied that it would be awesome, in fact
>> they think it is so important that a solution is being coded for Dapper.
> A wholly inadequate "solution" that isn't much better than what
> currently exists.
> Perhaps because people--myself included--don't think this "solution" is
> even acceptable, not to mention good?

Then you should be telling that to the designers.  However, since you've
discarded their baby without even reading their proposal, don't expect much

> Instead we get what appears to be a brain-dead
> wrapper around tar/gzip/mkisofs.

Now that's both gratuitously insulting _and_ shows that you didn't read the
proposal.  They're definitely not proposing to use tar.

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