[nSLUG] Re: Linuxfest "Backups" presentation

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Thu May 13 15:22:15 ADT 2010

George wrote:

> ...but the key point is that users need to organize their
> filesystems to maintain key separations:

I have a somewhat crude way to do that.  On a single-user machine, I
own 2 dirs in /home: my personal one and /home/pkg.  

/home/pkg/ gets all tarballs of software that didn't come with my
distro. They get compiled there and run from there until I see that
they're what I wanted.  Then "installed" (usually in /usr/lcoal) if

         /home/mds  Almost all my personal files

         /home/pkg  Packages available on the net buty not in my distro.

         /opt       Apps I use often, don't expect ever to upgrade or
                    that may be hard to replace.

         /mnt/hda4  I.e., a separate partition
                    ISOs, large collections of images, some videos.

Using another partition for "long term" storage avoids having find,
locate or the like grovel tediously through unchanging stuff.

    /home/mds backup onto a DVD. For now, 1.8G  fits so diff,
              incremental or whatever isn't needed. Just dump all.

    /opt      back up only when it changes (rarely)

    /home/pkg never backed up. If some item proves precious, it's
              moved to /opt or /home/mds. If I have an unrecoverable
              crash, a newer version of [whatever] will probably be
              available anyhow.
    /mnt/hda4 backup piecemeal if not already on optical media somewhere.

One other backup item: periodically, ~/man is updated from my main box
on two or three other machines. ~/man contains various official docs
on hardware and software but especially all that stuff, hard-won by
beating my head against a wall a 3:00AM, that I scribbled down because
I will have forgotten it by the next time I need it. My own ~/bin/mann
script is far more ambitious than /usr/bin/man or apropos at trying to
find what I need that I've forgotten.  [1] ~/man includes stuff about
the real world -- diesel engines, power hammers, screw-theads,
electric motor wiring etc. -- not just computer stuff and is arguably
the most important directory on my system.

Of course, this isn't systematic enough [2] for "the enterprise" or
busy multi-user environments.  It just reflects and supports George's

- Mike

[1] You know, the "throw it into a cardboard box" filing system?
    Despite my best efforts at organization, that seems to be how it
    works for me. ~/bin/mann roots through all my virtual cardboard
    boxes to find tiny scraps of virtual napkin or gum wrapper
    bearing important scribbles.

[2] "not systematic enough": Marginally better than "chaotic". :-)

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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